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.
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.