what matters most: part iii


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The last time Ah-Dur and I communicated, I was not in a good place. He had the (mis)fortune of trying to meet up with me the day after S and I broke up. But whatever pain I felt at the time, real or illusory, pales in comparison against what Ah-Dur has experienced since then. Unwinding sixteen months of life is nothing compared to unwinding sixteen years of life. Steven Chen tried to explain this to me when he took me to takesushi. Think about what you had with this person versus what you have with friends that you have known for years. But I was too busy crying into my sashimi to understand.

Both Ah-Dur and I are in better places now. I’m running, reading Gretchen Rubin, living with a happiness checklist. He is meditating, reading Leo Babauta, living without goals and plans. But I hope he does not apply this to every aspect of life because random walk in Alaska (we are thinking late July or August) may become dancing with bears.

These days, however, I live without goals, for the most part. It’s absolutely liberating, and contrary to what you might have been taught, it absolutely doesn’t mean you stop achieving things.

It means you stop letting yourself be limited by goals.

Let go of plans. Plans are not really different than goals. They set you on a predetermined path. But it’s incredibly difficult to let go of living with plans, especially if you’re a meticulous planner like I am. So allow yourself to plan, when you feel you need to, but slowly feel free to let go of this habit.

“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

P.S. I do not subscribe to the philosophy of living without goals. Setting goals makes me happy. Achieving goals sometimes makes me happy. But I’m usually working on another set of goals by then so the outcome is somewhat irrelevant.

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