I am 42 years old today. As everybody knows, the Meaning of Life is forty two, so a post on the Meaning of Life seems apt.
What then have I learned in 42 solar sojourns? (Other than to insert Monty Python, Douglas Adams and Blackadder references wherever possible?)
Pay close attention, because this is important. If there is ONE BIG THING I have learned, it’s this:
Love is not the main thing. Love is not the best thing. Love is not the most important thing.
Love is the ONLY thing that matters.
Love your spouse, children, family.
Love your friends. They’re the family you choose.
Work for love. Not necessarily do work that you love. That’s great if you can get it. But work for love. Work to get money to feed your kids. Work to get money to feed other people’s kids. Work because the work itself is worthwhile whether you enjoy it or not.
But do it for love.
Love yourself. The best way to do that is to show love to the people you care about. That will feed your soul like nothing else. But also look after your body and your mind. You deserve it.
It's probably better to do the wrong thing, from love, than the right thing from any other motive.
And tell me these pics made by my kids don't make you go ahhhhhh:
I am writing a short book at the moment with the working title “How to Live Long and Prosper”. (Star Trek references are good too.)
It will cover my best advice on how to live. It has five basic practices:
- Spend time with people you care about. (Love.)
- Do things you find meaningful. (Do them for love.)
- Think right. (Love your mind.)
- Eat right (love your body, part 1)
- Exercise (love your body, part 2)
And then a whole lot of ideas, principles, and practices to make those five easier. My go-to strength training exercises; my favourite meditations; that sort of thing. This will be backed up by the research I’ve done over the last couple of decades, much of it distilled from the works of better scholars than I. Studies of centagenarians, for instance.
I’ll also look at money, how to manage it, and what it is actually for. This has been a critical skill for creating a decent quality of life from a swordsman’s income. Because once you clear away the inessentials (anything that is not about love), then it becomes much easier to make good long-term financial decisions, which will indeed help you to prosper.
I will spend today with my wife and kids, also meditating and exercising, and eating good food, and in the evening I'll go to the salle and teach and advanced class. Following my own advice, in other words. Talk about a happy birthday!
And in case your day needed cheering up: