I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Show again this week (my course in living life) and his guest was Naval Ravikant. Naval is co-founder of Angel List and has invested in over 100 companies including a few small start-ups called Twitter and Uber.
Naval mentioned when Greek philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Naval then went on to say…
“Proper examination should ruin the life that you’re currently living. It should cause you to leave relationships. It should cause you to re-establish boundaries with family members and with colleagues. It should cause you to quit your job… If it doesn’t do that, it’s not real examination. If it doesn’t come attached with destruction of your current life, then you can’t create the new life in which you will not have the anxiety.”
Powerful. Over the years I have examined what I eat, what I drink, who I want to spend time with, how often I read or meditate or walk. But I haven’t ripped things apart at the seams. Like a seamstress who has decided to begin again.
That is hard. But it can be a goal. The deconstruction of what the world has told us we are, what we are meant to be doing, who we were meant to be.
As writer Mary Oliver said, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
We are on the clock. Each day is a transaction between actions and time. Are we spending it in alignment with our heart? Are we jumping out of bed to start the day or are we dragging our heels?
Add to all this thinking a global pandemic. What shoe will drop next? Who might get sick? Will a vaccine arrive in time to set society back in motion?
We do have an emotional vaccine of authenticity, empowerment, resilience, and grit. Those things can build our immunity to the waves that will crash over our heads as we try and tread water. But we must listen to the voice inside that tells us about our own desires and strengths and will. We must tear out the pages of the story that everyone else wrote for us and write our own. What will we say?