I Believe

Erica from NWEdible wrote a fantastic post that I just read, had to stop eating breakfast, come here and share. Called “What I Believe” it’s well worth your time to go read. My favorite quote is this one:

I believe we are in control of far, far more than we typically act on, and far, far less than we typically worry about.

This is so true, and really speaks to the crux of my personal transformation since jumping on the early retirement/sustainability/lifestyle design train almost two years ago now. I’ve written in the past about the power of aligning circles of control/influence with circles of concern, but it’s something we need to be reminded of frequently. My latest thoughts about Antifragility are definitely all about putting myself in control of more than what I was acting on, and withdrawing my worry from things I couldn’t.

I want to do more than just post a link and a reaction to Erica’s post, however. Go read it if you haven’t already. Back? Now here’s my riff on it:

  • I believe there are some things we can never know, and we have to embrace the mystery.
  • I believe we can never, ever truly know someone, and that is the beauty of interacting with others. They are mysteries, other, and should always be able to surprise us.
  • I believe in raising the children we have, not the children we wish we had.
  • I believe too much comfort is a dangerous thing.
  • I believe living your life according to other people’s opinion of you is a subtly tyranny, but a tyranny nonetheless.
  • I believe in trying to be as healthy as you can, and no healthier.
  • I believe life without being creative in some form is a life I don’t want to live.
  • I believe in finding a piece of the earth that is yours, and leaving it better than you found it.
  • I believe in the power of designing (and redesigning, and redesigning…) one’s life, and designing (if possible) the way one’s life ends.
  • I also believe in embracing the beautiful chaos of life’s surprises absolutely destroying one’s lifestyle design.

Here’s a few I like and want to borrow from Meliad’s comment on Erica’s post:

  • I believe that being a chatelaine [Editor note: chatelaine is interchangeable with my concept of a steward] is, for real, a 20hrs/week job all by itself.
  • I believe that MANY people would be happier if they had the option of working half-time for above-minimum wage and dedicating the other 20 hours/work-week to creative/family/joy-inducing activities.
  • I believe in glass and metal and wood and wool and leather; I believe in things that are made to last (but that will, in general, also rot given enough time and neglect)
  • I believe in feeding people
  • I believe in DIY, even though I’m not that good at a lot of DIY
  • I believe in walking places
  • I believe a good book is a great escape and, frequently, a great teacher.

What are some of your beliefs?


2 Comments on “I Believe”

  1. This reminds me of two separate things–the famous Bull Durham scene (which is less personal) and the bit in 7 Habit of Highly Effective People when he advises that you make a mission statement for yourself. A few off-the-cuff thoughts:

    1. I believe that you can do anything, but not everything.
    2. I believe that no one can care about everything, and that we are all best off if everyone cares about SOMETHING but we don’t all care about the same things.
    3. I believe that complaining and “venting” are usually wastes of air.
    4. I believe that reading is a powerful and transformative activity.
    5. I believe that too little or too much attention is bad for children.
    6. I believe in sleep, exercise, and good food, more or less in that order.
    7. I believe that judging other people by one’s own standards and judging oneself by the standards of others are both pointless activities.
    8. I believe in taking pleasure and pride in acts of creation, even or especially if the product is imperfect.
    9. I believe that there is no God, no afterlife, and no conscious design to the universe, and that human life is valuable and potentially wonderful as an end in itself.

    Thanks for sharing this, Chief! The few minutes I just spent thinking about my beliefs was really satisfying. I should work these up into a proper statement! (They are not fully realized at present.)

    • David says:

      FP – thanks for the comment and sharing your list! I’d totally forgotten about the personal mission statement exercise. Maybe on my next trip through the book I’ll try it out and see if I get value from it.

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