I recently saw a TED Talk by Graphic Designer Stefan Sagmeister. He takes the audience on a journey through moments of his life that made him happy. He focuses on which of these moments had to do with good design, but in one slide he lists bullets of “Things I’ve Learned In My Life So Far”.

Some of them caught my eye, so I thought I’d document them here for reference:

  • Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now.
  • Being not truthful works against me
  • Helping other people helps me
  • Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy
  • Everything I do always comes back to me
  • Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on
  • Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted
  • Money does not make me happy
  • Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life
  • Assuming is stifling
  • Keeping a diary supports my personal development
  • Trying to look good limits my life
  • Worrying solves nothing
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses
  • Having guts always works out for me

I’d like to come up with a list of my own. I know some of them will include:

  • Life’s not black/white. Balance is important.
  • Giving is more rewarding than receiving.
  • Bad times/experiences leave you with a good story to tell.
  • Don’t worry about things you cannot control.
  • You can’t change people. Accept them as is or reject them.
  • Future planning just leads to rigidity and failed expectations.
  • Exercise is all the stress management I need.

I’ll add to this list as I gather more.

 

I recently came across 2 blog posts which I found extremely refreshing. They have to do with people working their lives away so they can retire as soon as possible. Here are a few quotes from them…

Most people are still buying into the same old industrial age myth of “work sucks, so do as little of it as you can so you can live your life when you aren’t working.”

For years, we have been taught that work is something you have to do … so that you can do what you really want while you are not working.

I think a quote from Earl Nightingale is appropriate here.
“In an age where we’ve come to nearly deify leisure time, we’ve almost lost sight of the fact that virtually all of our satisfactions, rewards will come not from our leisure, but from our work.”

Life shouldn’t be wasted working towards for your retirement, it should be spent doing things you love.

There have been lots of positive comments, including this one:

Excellent! I am in the process of starting my own business, a bakery, because it is my passion and I love doing it. Living life day to day and being unhappy doing so isn’t what life is about. Have fun everyday, every hour, every minute. Thats what it is about.

I hope to be there one day…

Here are the original links:

http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1121-early-retirement-is-a-false-idol

http://www.entrepreneurslife.com/thoughts/entry/what-i-hate-about-the-4-hour-work-week/

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