the stuff that matters

Like this picture? I took it in Monte Rico, Guatemala, in April 2010.

We are all constantly barraged with issues that demand our attention. In a matter of a few years, very little of it will actually be worth a hill of beans. How can we keep from getting cheated in life by spending too much time and energy on things that won’t last?

Unfortunately, most people come and go. The vast majority of your current relationships are temporary. While we should never treat people like they are disposable, we can’t be fooled into thinking that every person in our life is permanent fixture. People will walk and we all know it. And everyone will die some day.

Jobs don’t last. You get fired, downsized or you quit.
Houses, cars, clothes…they all wear out.
Even your health and youth are slipping though your fingers.

So how do we avoid investing in things that have no yield, while possibly overlooking things that have real lasting power?

The problem with this kind of thinking is – we are wrestling with our desire for permanence. We like the security of knowing that things will be around for a while. When it comes to people we love and stuff we value, we are making long-term plans. But nothing on earth is eternal. And only the eternal things really matter.

I have to face each day knowing full well that a vast majority of my interests and desires won’t matter in 100 years. While it’s not realistic to live your life enthralled in matters of eternal consequence (you still have to answer your emails) be sure that your passions are comprised of issues that will be around for ever. Don’t get caught up in the seemingly important matter that is here today and gone tomorrow.

By the way, this blog won’t be around in 100 years so how about letting it go for now?

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