Planning For Living

Can you name any­one who feels that the days are a per­fect length? Almost all of car­ry a sense that life is too short. To do so is to guar­an­tee that we’ll live dissatisfied.

An alter­na­tive is to dis­cov­er our pur­pos­es and the lim­its with­in which we may act to fur­ther them, and then to cul­ti­vate our abil­i­ty to feel con­tent with what we’re able to do and be.

Mag­ic fel­lows and res­i­dents gath­er to assist each oth­er in plan­ning with the aim to live better.

Though this may sound straight­for­ward, few of us actu­al­ly do it. Typ­i­cal­ly, we found our lives on ideas about pur­pose and path which we adopt­ed as chil­dren, large­ly as a result of cir­cum­stance. We march through our days like lit­tle robots on all-too-pre­dictable paths from cra­dle to grave.

To shed the mis­takes we inher­it­ed by acci­dent of birth and upbring­ing, we nec­es­sar­i­ly ques­tion much that we take for grant­ed. Yet the very sense of hur­ry and pres­sure born of, and par­ent to dis­sat­is­fac­tion is all-too-fre­quent­ly an imped­i­ment to our reflect­ing very deeply on anything.

By reg­u­lar plan­ning, record­ing, and review­ing, we can break this cycle. We can become more con­scious of every­day choic­es and their con­se­quences. We can even increase the like­li­hood that we will bring inten­tion and action into con­so­nance, and thus tran­scend some of the cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance so wide­spread in our era.

In Plan­ning for Liv­ing, we ask what we may con­clude about pur­pos­es of life from evi­dence of bil­lions of years of bio­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion, includ­ing sev­er­al hun­dred thou­sand years of human cul­ture. We also out­line some bound­ary con­di­tions on our lives which are deter­mined by nat­ur­al law. Then we pro­ceed to plan how we shall live, and to learn ways of replac­ing old, unwant­ed habits with new choices.

We at Mag­ic teach life plan­ning because we employ it with sat­is­fac­tion. Since 1974 key Mag­ic per­son­nel have been evolv­ing effec­tive meth­ods for iden­ti­fy­ing and real­iz­ing both indi­vid­ual and com­mon aspi­ra­tions. Tech­niques we offer in Plan­ning for Liv­ing are a sam­pling of our prac­tices. We’ve devel­oped these by draw­ing from tra­di­tions and approach­es rang­ing from Bud­dhist med­i­ta­tion to Fred­er­ick Winslow Tay­lor’s time and motion stud­ies. We intend them as stim­u­lus for you to exer­cise your imag­i­na­tion in syn­the­siz­ing your own unique strat­e­gy for this crit­i­cal aspect of living.

You can sam­ple the work­shop and find instruc­tion for a self-direct­ed life-plan­ning exer­cise here.