Which of these do you think constitutes a life lived fully?
(1) You lived a life in which you kept hold of your self-image – in which you and others always got to see you just the way you intended?
(2) You lived a life in which you committed yourself in each moment to something that really seemed to matter.
Or, said another way, if one of these were to be your epitaph, which would you choose?
To where does a life lived supporting an image lead? And to where does a life of commitment to something you care about lead?
Mostly we’ve been taught to pursue the former. At school and in work, doing what looks good or feels good – what gets us prizes or attention or grades or bonuses or position or fame or a warm-glow of self-satisfaction – is often much more highly prized than doing what matters.
We dismiss this question at our peril (the peril of our very lives).
But dismiss it we do, because it’s scary to face, and because we’ve become so thoroughly convinced that sustaining our image is all that available to us.