Satisfaction In Action
I've mentioned before how I think it's important for me to do something that I consider worthwhile. There are two parts to how I evaluate if something is worthwhile or not; the first is an immediate or short term satisfaction of making dinner, climbing a hill, cleaning the bathroom (okay, this one is of questionable satisfaction), etc - the tasks that are everywhere in life. The other one is more of the strategic, longer term focus; saving for your children's education, buying/paying off your house, a bucket list trip, having intimate relations with a model, quitting your job to travel, etc.
This is all part of the reason why I decided to quit my job and start traveling with Clo. My ultimate goal is not happiness; this is a far too overused word, and I don't actually think it's that valuable by itself. I found this excerpt about happiness from Martin E.P. Seligman's book "Flourish" to be a good summary. My interpretation (coincidentally also what I think) is the way you go about achieving things is the most important part. Happiness is just a byproduct of that.
My ultimate goal is also not, contrary to what it may seem, to find my passion. I have no lack of passion, it is only that I was very sad and disappointed at myself to be doing something so many hours of the day which does not incite any of the passion within me. This is why I quit my job and want to travel, volunteer, meet people, see new things, practice new skills (such as this writing you are reading, right now) and etc (especially etc, since I have no idea what it is yet!). I personally believe that passion is a result of action, not something that magically shows up when you find the "right thing". In other words, there's no way to find it without trying a bunch of different things.
So how is it going so far? It's been nearly a month, and I am starting to realize that I actually quit my job. Many of my friends know I am a rather relaxed guy, but I am finally feeling that way myself. It's much different to be calm but always thinking about the different projects at work, burning issues, escalations, budgets, customers, etc, etc than to simply not have those things to worry about. There are certainly lots of things on my mind, but they are ones that I choose to deal with. I think this is what has made the biggest difference to me; feeling that all of the things I am thinking about are completely my (or my and Clo's) responsibility to manage, and we/us will deal with it. I think I am finally understanding what people said about starting their own company and being their own boss.
In another vein, the small things seem to somehow be more satisfying. Maybe that's because I'm still rather chuffed to realize how lucky we are to be able to do this thing, or perhaps because I am doing them purely, 100% for me and not as a way to achieve the goal of someone else. That's actually quite selfish, isn't it? Or maybe it's a way to trick myself to think it's better somehow; a pleasant fantasy that I'm creating for myself to justify my actions and choices? Perhaps one day I'll know, but for now I shall continue to trust myself and ask a lot of questions.
Back to the new lifestyle. I'm still not sure what to call it - it's hardly a vacation, it's not really a new job (yet?) and while we moved to a place we are not going to be living here for long. I think this lifestyle of permanently being without long-term physical roots one of the things that I'll be thinking about a lot in the coming months (and years). I'm curious how Clo and I will adapt to it, and I'm curious how we decide to develop (or not) the way we spend our time.
I am very much looking forward to even some small, nearby trips. Both Clo and I are very interested in meeting new people as we travel, and when I volunteer the social engagement and impact aspect is one of the ones that is most valuable to me. I am very curious to get to know people, to find out the differences, similarities, their interests, their passions, their culture, their food, do any of them have heated toilets like the Japanese, can they eat more spicy food than me, do they have a dog, all these sorts of things that will allow me to expand my own view on life. I found this related short video about how different people say hello to be quite interesting way to approach that curiosity.
I can't wait to learn about the stories that people will share with us, and to explore more of this story of our own.
Until next time!