Summary: “Make joyfully participating in life your benchmark for evaluating life choices.”
A person with a clear process for evaluating the direction that each important choice is taking him or her in life is almost always more successful and satisfied than one who has no such process. If you don’t already have such a process, let’s discuss a good idea for establishing one.
Since your past choices lead to your current circumstances, and your current choices will create your future circumstances, consider establishing the ongoing objective of joyfully participating in life as your guiding benchmark for all important life choices. To clarify, a benchmark is a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed. With joyfully participating as your benchmark, you always get to decide what is most important to you. No one else can do, or should be doing, that for you.
I believe that using this particular benchmark is one of the simplest ways to live a more grounded, authentic, productive and, of course, joyful life.
Here’s how it works. When faced with an important choice, simply ask, “In the long run, will this choice most likely take me in the direction of joyfully participating in life, or will it take me in the opposite direction?” I suggest using the phrase “in the long run” when using this mantra to guide your choices because that phrase opens up a lot of possibilities for a variety of choices that may not seem so logical, or even enjoyable, in the short-run…but that will pay off quite nicely in the long run. For purposes of this benchmark, I will assume that your choices are a productive use of your time and energy and that they generally benefit society as a whole.
This is a simple but powerful benchmark. No, when faced with choices you cannot always make your prediction about whether or not the choice with lead to joyful participation with one hundred percent accuracy; however, your best guess will serve you quite well in most situations.
For most of you, this is a great answer to the question: “What do I want to get out of life, or what is my goal in life?” Make your goal to simply be a person who joyfully participates in life by your own definition and evaluation. All other goals, such as acquiring a certain home, car, career title, amount of money, and so forth and so on, should be in the service of supporting this overarching and ongoing life goal.
It is a simple but powerful way to keep your life going in the right direction. If you would like to further reinforce this idea, consider watching the video Finding Joe by Patrick Solomon.
Joyfully participate in life today…Chris