Things that really matter to me, on Monday, December 22nd, 2014.

If I had the choice, right now, to choose exactly how I wanted to live for the next few years, what would I choose?

It’s very hard to define the purpose of life, so instead I’ll start by defining what the purpose is not.

If the goal of life is not to be successful… not to prove you are successful… not to be more successful than someone else… not to have power or influence… not to ensure my place in another world in the future…

Then what is the goal of life?

Not having people hear my music… not to read my writing… not to use my software… not to leave a legacy… not to think how smart I am, that I found a way to not work and be a slave to the system!

Any clue yet?

The goal that I have for MYself for MY life…there’s a lot of selfishness that could come out of that, or it could be turned around.

If life could be free of stress, problems, worry, violence, hunger…if living includes being a part of a community, able to seek and gain wisdom and improve health over time…then that would be a good life.

What if the ideal life is making sure others are set up to also have this good life? Where others have their basic needs met, and then maybe they can contemplate ‘what is the ideal life, and how can I set about living it?’

Think how amazing that is, that right now, I have the opportunity to think, ‘what is the ideal life, and how do I live it?’ When in history has a human had that opportunity? Most of the time throughout history it’s been ‘work today, or don’t eat tomorrow!’ But now, with our advances in technology (first it was agriculture, then solid housing, now maybe it’s the internet…), we yet again are gifted with the chance to contemplate life, if we choose to. But, we have had this chance in the past too, if you have been willing to forgo certain luxuries to have the luxury to analyze, to contemplate. Look at Thoreau, at Buddha. Usually everything we need is already there for us, provided by the great Earth ( some would call it God ). If everything we need wasn’t here, well, we probably wouldn’t have gotten this far! Just look at how the birds, the squirrels, the fish, as they go about their day. They find what’s there for them, take what they need, then the next day, rinse and repeat.

So, I’ve got this opportunity to contemplate, and I am taking it. I could be working the job that I am supposed to be doing. I’d like to contemplate more. It seems that time spent contemplating is inversely related to time spent working…hmmm…

Now if one thing is certain, it’s that if more people could contemplate life, the world would be a better place. How did I get this chance to contemplate in the middle of a busy work day in modern America? Well, I’m working remotely! Glorious, isn’t it? That a company would have their employees choose where they work, so that their quality of life might be better. Really a landmark in our civilization. Agriculture, solid housing, electricity, the internet, working remotely. But don’t overdo it, or take this freedom for granted. The same will happen with remote-work as it would if you took agriculture as far is it could go ( clear cutting forests, GMOs…it can get out of hand! )

Back to the idea of The Ideal Life and making sure others are set up with a Good Life: If I could help someone forget their problems to get into a positive space to drive out darkness in their lives this is living for others.

Living for others is making an impact. This is important. Earning another house, car, iphone, that is not important. As I’ve said, I’ve already got what I need.

Every chance I get, when I’m in a good state of mind, to allow others a Good Life, I hope I take it. First I hope I realize the opportunity I have been presented…lighting another’s candle of hope! Then I hope I use the opportunity, to the best of my ability, without pride or ego.

Ok let’s make a list for my detailed Good Life ( I’m starting to differentiate between Good, for myself, and Ideal, where I can help others achieve Good ).

Small, selfish things (not necessarily bad selfish - just things for my own life):

1) Minimal Driving of automobiles

  • cars contribute to a fast, selfish lifestyle. Long term pain for short term gain. Are you alright supporting global warming? Drilling for oil? Car payments? Road kill? Commuting? Lack of community self-sufficiency? Road Rage? DUIs? No thanks.

2) Bike / energy efficient transport

  • because you gotta get around, it’s exercise, it’s slowing down, it’s using technology efficiently. Biking could really change the world! Critical mass folks. Instead of flicking off your fellow biker, you give them a head nod and a hello, how are you? Imagine a driver doing that at a red light! #BellsNotHorns

3) time to contemplate 4) time to read 5) time to appreciate my surroundings 6) time to explore spirituality 7) time to connect to history, culture 8) Exercise daily

  • keep the body strong, capable and ready

9) Use natural products. Homemade / locally made

  • minimal [chemicals, shipping, new items with packaging]

10) contribute to a community

  • food / goods / skills so I can feel useful and connect with people / processes that intersect with my life

11) Consume no meat.

  • my reasons:
  • to live non-violently, we should not create violence
  • do not bring harm to sentient beings if it’s not 100% necessary. ( plants count too i guess…do not needlessly harvest food if it will not be used ).
  • gain sustenance in the most efficient way ( lowest water usage, energy used in production )
  • flow with how our bodies are designed ( fingers not claws, grinding teeth not razor sharp teeth, stomach not made for digesting rotting flesh)

12) Consume only ethical animal products

  • dairy, eggs, clothing

13) Produce minimal waste that is not organic.

  • reduce packaging, purchase of new items
  • try to compost human waste

14) Use minimal dirty energy

  • replace with solar / water / wind

15) Eat organic, local, real food

  • nothing [artificial, shipped in, out of season, GMO, sprayed with chemicals]

16) Surround myself with inspiring people who can help me, and I can help them.

  • this lifestyle isn’t the easiest. These ideas need refining. They could spread if they are presented correctly. That would be a good thing.

17) Have alone time when needed.

  • to do things like contemplate on all of this.

18) Directly contribute to producing mt food, shelter, and other necessities.

  • satisfy our need to be useful, have a skill. Possibly after meditating more on what’s important / getting rid of ego and pride, the need to contribute won’t be that great.

19) Have a complete cycle of produce, consume, reuse, in all aspects of life: a) food ( most obviously ), b) energy, c) friendship, d) community, e) enjoying the earth.

  • reap what we sow

Notice, as I am noticing, that I did not say family. I love my family, and my friends. I didn’t mention the word love either, or anything about being near a hospital. Because, I’ve never been without love, family, or nearby healthcare, I possibly don’t see the immense value in those things. I do love and want to be loved, like everyone. I do care about family, like everyone, and don’t want to be down and out when I’m sick, like everyone. I’m just not afraid of those things going away at this point in time. Lucky me I guess…

Actually, I’ll add one more criteria to living The Good Life: not having fear.

Do I want to have a family of my own in my ideal life? Sure, well…actually I’m not sure…a child means an heir, passing on my bloodline and my name, making my parents proud that they now have a grandchild. Those are things I see as reasons for having children, and I don’t agree with those reasons. I’m sure it’s immensely satisfying to have a child grow up and be sort of like you, or not…In previous times, it was necessary to have a big family to work the family business. More people meant more hands meant more sustenance and security. More money means less fear. Too much money leads to greed and confusion…sometimes.

Instead of having my own biological family, I would be perfectly fine with adoption, or just a close-knit community / group of friends that supports each other like family. That’s a different topic altogether…

Ok, so those are IDEALS. That’s not all going to happen today, but it’s something I could work towards. Maybe I’ll print this out to remind me of what I have agreed upon with myself is important, is desired in my life. Maybe more importantly are recognizing the things that are not important.

I want to follow up later with a few more prompts:

1) What does my current situation allow ouve a big family to work the family business. More people meant more hands meant more sustenance and security. More money means less fear. Too much money leads to greed and confusion…sometimes.

Instead of having my own biolte own biological family, I would be perfectly fine with adoption, or just a close-knit community / group of friends that supports each other like family. That’s a different topic altogether…

Ok, so those are IDEAattion, or just a close-knit community / group of fri