Apr 20, 2015

Living Deliberately

In part because of a new course I'm teaching next year, and in part because I'm in heavy pursuit of a dream, I've developed a renewed interest in people who discuss elements of deliberate living. I've always been a fan of Brain Pickings, but recently stumbled upon the great information shared by Gretchen Rubin in her various mediums. Both of them share ideas of great thinkers about the nature of living - how to be happy, content, creative, and the like. And each time I read something about this from them, I am reminded over and over again that the key to what we want from life is living deliberately. 

I think I've always known this. I'm fascinated by the way people construct their days, had a knock-off brand of Covey planner when I was in high school, and love structure and schedules. I'm drawn to articles about time management (like this one from the very impressive Therese Walsh at Writer Unboxed), follow the way business people structure their lives (like Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association) and still integrate planning systems (like Passion Planner or the organization tools provided by Jamie Raintree) to further maximize my daily efforts.

It seems a little strange, to fill time with these ideas and continually tweak, but there are still too many days when what I wanted to get done got interrupted by other things that "needed" to be done. I know I waste time when I could be maximizing it, and continually seeing these kinds of people share their successful techniques is a huge motivator for me. 

But more than anything, I want to end every day having accomplished tasks with deliberation. 

I have the great fortune of living in the town where I grew up. Seriously, I love it for so many reasons. But part of the downside of this is that I see generations of the same people from the same families living the way the previous one did. Some may say that is the dream, and if that is what they deliberately selected, I'm super happy for them. But there are many people who do what their parents did because it is what has always been done, who get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep and repeat because they aren't dead yet.

But we get one shot at this. One chance to develop ourselves into a person who can live life to our potential - in whatever arena that is supposed to be. I have several friends who parent with impressive deliberateness. Another manages to balance her work/writing/mom life with seamless transitions that leave me in awe. 

There is a tendency I think, and especially for women, to look at these people I've mentioned and feel dejected because we didn't get that much done, but that doesn't help anything. Instead, take a look at some of these people (or let me know your organizational/deliberately living heroes) and start finding ways to make small changes. Because if there is one thing I know, it is that every person deserves the right to feel satisfied at the way they are journeying through this life. 


David P. King said...

Well said! Whatever it is we want to do in our lives, go about it deliberately. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think it's a matter of adjusting our dreams as we go through life. Most days I feel like I'm following my dreams but sometimes my goals get tangled in what I want for my children and I have to put them first.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, we do get just one shot at this and we have to follow our own path. Like Susan said, our dreams are adjusted as time goes on. I know mine have changed over the years, in part because I realized what was really important.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I am reminded of the line from Dead Poet's Society, quoting from a poem (can't remember which poet though) about going to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to suck all the marrow from life.

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