Friday, September 03, 2010

The Unstuffed Life

Charles Dickens once wrote, "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery." Yet while many seem to understand this principle when it comes to money, far too few demonstrate such an understanding when it comes to time.

When it comes to one's time people generally subscribe to the belief that more is more. Whether it's the jam packed schedules of today's children, or the workaholic schedules proudly shared by famous tycoons, modern life revels in being busy.

Rather than the examined life, we seem intent instead on living the overstuffed life.

Yet quality is more important than quantity when it comes to how you live your life. By filling our calendars, we turn everything into a matter of scheduling. We rush to finish whatever we're doing, never pausing to enjoy or savor, because any break just means we fall further behind.

Why do everything if that means you cannot enjoy anything? For money? A friend lamented not going into hedge funds like his other friends so he could cash out and live the good life. I simply asked, "How many of your hedge fund buddies actually retired after they made their FU money?"

My friend thought for a moment and said, "None. They're all still working."

Doing too many things, even things that you love, leads to unhappiness. Do yourself a favor and unstuff your life.