How Do You Live Your Life?

I saw this show up on Hacker News a while back and it really stuck with me. It’s a simple question: how do you live your life?

This reply by cinghaile is probably my favorite on the page:

“If I have discovered any secrets (beyond marrying the right person), it can be summed up as:

Read Nothing has helped me define what life is about and determine a fulfilling course of action than reading broadly and deeply. I read across disciplines, and am always on the lookout for challenging and intriguing essays and books. Reading brings the world to you, and lets you in on the thoughts and perspectives of people who you can or will never meet. Read, listen to audio books in your car, and develop a reading list for future reading. To make time, swear off television. In a month or two, you will forget it exists. For inspiration, read Steve Leveen’s The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life.

Travel Cross cultures. Try to get out of this country for months instead of weeks. Get outside the box and see how other people– with completely different priorities, ethics, and perspectives than yours– live happy and fulfilling lives. Travel is one of the few ways you can step outside your own perspective and look back in on it. Read Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel if you have never cought the travel bug. And, be sure to travel “outside the bubble” of prepackaged tours and English language locales.

Converse This is a tough one in American culture. Find people who value and relish a good conversation. A book circle, perhaps? Develop relationships with people who are open to and curious about the new and different, and not annoyed or threatened by it. We speak this remarkably rich, varied, and “live” language, and so few people around us make any use of it. The art of conversation is an endangered activity. Again, finding others who have killed their television set (and therefore have interests beyond professional sports, reality shows, and soap operas) is a good start. As your question asserts, there are many out there who have walked the walk and have gained some wisdom about how to live life. Nothing unlocks that wisdom like a deep and engaged conversation.

I suggest that these three paths/activities will help you answer the big question for yourself.”

As a 20-something, I’m still figuring out my own methods to living my life. This picture to the right has been my desktop for over two years now. But what would your advice be? How do you live your life?


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