Quality Of Life

What is my quality of life? How should I measure it? What choices should I make to improve it? These question have always been directly connected to my job choice. I want to make the most money I can while working as few hours as possible. But a job is more than just a financial exchange system. It defines who I am. The first question most people ask is, “what do you do?” We evaluate people by the job they hold so we’re more willing to invest time into our careers.

So now I have Vipassana in my life and the value of many of those things are disappearing and are being replaced by the desires of simplicity, peace, and time to work on my practice. I’m less concerned with how I’m perceived, being able to buy nice things, eating out, or the ability to travel. Money and prestige can’t get me what I want but are they necessary to get me what I need?

Of course we have the need for food, housing, and shelter. I was raised to also believe that health care and retirement income are needs. If I decide to have a family I need to care for them but what do they need? In some ways I was raised to believe having a family was a need. Is it?

Some days I feel like I don’t need anything else and I should just let the rest of it go so I can return to my purest interest of serving people. My biggest concern is that I’ll live to regret it. It takes time to build a career and there’s a lot of security and stability that comes with that. That stability comes at a cost of a large amount of my time on this planet. Sometimes too much security can feel like a burden as it’s no longer possible to pursue what makes me happy. Sometimes a lack of security can make it impossible to pursue what makes me happy. There’s a balance somewhere that I still need to find.

I do know that I want to spend my time, whether I’m being paid or not, to be spent contributing to society. I don’t want to hide from my responsibilities and I don’t want to pretend I have control of things that I can’t control. As I search deeper within myself I believe the answers to my questions will become more clear as long as I’m brave enough to keep searching.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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2 Responses to Quality Of Life

  1. T. Payne says:

    I liked the honesty of this post. I think a lot of us struggle with finding balance between making money and being fulfilled. I totally agree with your statement: I want to earn the most money I can in the least amount of hours. As a result, I’ve pursued freelance work that, at times in my life, have paid me several thousand dollars a day. But then, five months later, I’m out on a limb trying to get another high paying client/gig. It’s a constant juggle. But I’d never give it up to go into an office even if my life depended on it. So I’ve made my choices and I’m content with them. Even when I have to pass on a great trip because I have to prioritize in other ways. But sometimes, I’m sitting on a beach reading (on a Wednesday afternoon), while others are in gray cubicles counting the seconds till the weekend. I cherish my life.

    • naturalfarmer says:

      Cherish your life! Do what comes naturally and don’t worry about the future and how things will work out! Just trust in the dhamma and things will continue to unfold in your favor. How can they not when we are learning the path of perfect acceptance!?

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