Rule 7: Pursue what is meaningful (Not what is expedient)
Life is short. Don’t waste it on meaningless endeavors.
This is easier said than done. Why wouldn’t we pursue pleasure? If, in the end, we all end up in the same place, why does it matter how we spend our time? Why pursue something that may never materialize when we can experience pleasure now?
that something better might be attained in the future by giving up something of value in the present. -Peterson, Jordan B.. 12 Rules for Life (p. 161).
We don’t know what the future may hold. We can shape it to a large degree, but even then, the results are beyond our control.
This is not wasted effort. Foregoing pleasure today for the sake of something grander later (even if it is not certain) makes us better. This discipline gives us freedom. We are not slaves to pleasure.
Pleasure takes many forms. It is unpleasant to sit down and write sometimes, but it is meaningful because I want to become a better thinker, reader, and writer. Succumbing to pleasure derails me from this goal.
The longish-range nature of goals makes it an easy target for elimination in this busy world. Because goals have a longer time horizon, we still think we have time to accomplish it despite straying off course. I find it easy to rationalize my way out of the proper thing to do.
Accomplish goals because they are meaningful. And in doing so, we may become better versions of ourselves.
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