How We Spend Our Days is How We Spend our Lives. Annie Dillard in her book The Writing Life says “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”. Her book The Writing Life is a beautiful and poignant meditation on a life well-lived. The Writing Life reminds us of the trade-offs between presence and productivity that we’re constantly having to make. The book doesn’t teach a writer how to write. It shows how a writer lives her life.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” reminds us that what we do each day eventually becomes our life. Therefore how we spend each day in the singular, becomes how we spend our life in total. And while things may seem either uneventful or important, judged by a single day: judged by a lifetime of single days, they add up to either a life well-lived or a life squandered.
Walking in the woods each day with your dog, observing in the present moment, with all your senses aroused, feeling the breeze to your back, the sun on your face, the beauty of the woods, the smell of the flowers, and the activities of the critters skirmishing to and fro may not seem to be a productive day by today’s fast-paced consumerism or technology standards, but, looking back on a lifetime of such glorious days, would by all but the most cynical of soul, or dead of heart would be a life well-lived.
Consumerism and Silicon Valley have turned our world upside down and with it turned bad into good and good into bad. Today we are made to feel that if we are not doing something, something important, something productive then we are failing. We believe that buying things is our purpose.
Most of us know however that no matter how many believe a lie; a lie is still a lie. Technology and Consumerism is not the solution to fixing a world gone crazy, it is instead the reason.
Steven Monahan is a former fortune 100 executive. Twice death survivor, radical & joyful Living teacher, author, licensee and creator of TEDxDupreePark, and philanthropist.