Author Topic: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.  (Read 1216 times)

FallenTimber

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Over the past couple of years, Ive been working towards increased mindfulness in my everyday life. The journey began when I quite randomly saw a book on the shelf at the bookstore titled The Power of Kindness, which changed my life and my relationships. Since then Ive eagerly read dozens of related books, including many from the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. The journey has radically changed my perspective on many things in life, with finance being one of them. If you knew me in person, always in blue jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, I likely wouldnt be someone you envisioned meditating. So its been quite a powerful and life-changing journey for myself.

In one of Thich Nhat Hanhs books, he writes that we are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. The line struck me, as I know this has been something Ive struggled with. Its quite easy to get caught up in always thinking about the future, about a FIRE date, about the life youll lead once youre retired. Its easy to get in a mindset of Ill grin and bear it these next XX years, and then I can finally do the things I want to do. Unfortunately, were so focused on preparing for the future that we are unable to fully appreciate the present.

This post isnt meant to accuse anyone of this mindset (other than my former self, which Im working on). There are many, many Mustachians who are incredibly mindful and an inspiration to myself. Its simply intended to serve as a reminder that even though we all have our goals and dreams for the future, today has the opportunity to be every bit as joyful as the day that we reach FIRE. Its simply a matter of being truly present in each momenta task much easier said than done, Ive learned.

If anyone has any tips for living more mindfully and intentionally, any book recommendations, any stories, Id love to hear them.

StarBright

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Re: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 07:51:57 AM »
Thanks for your post. I just put the Power of Kindness on my library hold list.

dcheesi

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Re: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2019, 08:01:36 AM »
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." (John Lennon and/or Allen Saunders)

LifeHappens

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Re: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 08:44:33 AM »
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." (John Lennon and/or Allen Saunders)
I resemble this remark!

Great post, OP. I have The Art of Happiness on my bookshelf. Time to re-read.

SunnyDays

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Re: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2019, 09:49:08 AM »
"The Power of Now" by Eckert Tolle is a great read too.

catccc

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Re: We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 03:56:08 PM »
I was just listening to Mad Fientist's latest podcast, and in it, he and Grant from Millenial Money (or Millenial millionaire?  millennial something...) discuss living mindfully and both say stuff like "no way I could live like that before I was FI!!"  This struck me as odd, because I really do feel like I live life intentionally and mindfully, even though I am not yet RE or FI (close, but not yet).  I am appreciative of the little things.  I am savoring the journey.  And I thought "how sad if most people working towards FI are hustling too hard to see how good things are along the way!" 

Big fan of the Buddhist philosophy as it pertains to mindfulness.  I'm a sporadic meditator, but a meditator nonetheless. Not perfect by any means, but always trying to be better than before, while still thankful for where I am now.  Of course, I wasn't always this way, it took work to get here.  Maybe it's not so much that I realized I could live now before they did, but just that they hit FI before I did, ha ha!