Monday, September 06, 2004

Life and Love

Brian Alger is writing profoundly about the role of love in our sense of the quality of our lives. I recommend reading the entire article, but I was most struck by this paragraph's relevance to the lifestylism concept:
"In an enigmatic twist of fate, this questioning happened at the same time, from the perspective of a bystander, that I might have been seen as at the height of career attainment - international travel, the six-figure income, the bottomless expense account, the high-rolling with executives and government officials, and so on and so forth. But what precisely had been attained? There was nothing wrong with that career path, yet there was something missing within. Clearly, my definition and perception of attainment and success were suspect since I began to question the purpose of what I was doing. The source of this personal mind-body-spirit conundrum was love."
So much of our sense of worth or satisfaction with our lives is influenced by (or more sadly, derived from) how we compare ourselves to the people around us. There's always someone further ahead, with more interesting work, travelling to exotic places, buying perfect properties and accumulating the best stuff. But of course that's not the point. Lifestylism is about what makes us happy and what gives us meaning. Achieving The American Dream won't give us purpose and happiness, although the pursuit of it seems to compell most of us for a while even when we know the "result" won't necessarily be what we had hoped.

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