Three broad possibilities for how you can live your life

MONDAY, 12 MARCH 2012

I’ve been thinking for quite some time that I have to draw everything I’ve written to a conclusion, to provide an answer to the question: Now what?

One idea that might be worked in: I believe there are three broad possibilities for how you can live your life.

Option one: You live for yourself, for your own benefit and happiness, and for your own well-being.

Option two: You withdraw. You spend as much time as possible on your own. Perhaps you do so because you prefer your own company, or just to keep your life simple. Perhaps you do it as part of a spiritual experiment, what some people call “searching for God” or “being close to God”. And perhaps you opt for this lifestyle for a few months or even a few years in order to sort things out for yourself.

Option three: You live for someone else, or for something you believe in. You choose to temporarily suspend your own happiness and well-being and the fulfilment of your own dreams and ambitions, or you choose to permanently sacrifice these things in order to assist another person or other people in their struggle, or to labour for the growth of an institution, or to promote a cause you believe in.

Sometimes one of these lifestyles dominates a person’s life to such a degree that it’s not difficult to see under what “option” the person sorts. There are also people who combine aspects of all three manners of living. Some people believe it is wrong to live only for themselves, so they give Number Three strong consideration. Even though most people like to be part of something bigger than themselves and truly enjoy other people’s company, they sometimes yearn for Number Two – especially when “everything” becomes “too much”. And even when someone sacrifices the best part of every day for their children or for friends and family, they will sometimes do something just for themselves – even if someone else may have to carry a heavier load for a short time as a result.

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