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You’re Doing Life Right

You’re Doing Life Right

I recently read a blog post on zenhabits entitled “You’re not doing life wrong”. It said:

“There’s an ever present underlying feeling that most of us have that we could be doing things better. That we’re not sure how to live life. That we’re doing things wrong.”

I totally agree with this. To my mind there is an underlying current in society that suggests that we should all just “toe the line”.

There is an ideal life trajectory. Go to school, study hard, get good grades so you can get into a good university. There you study hard, get good grades in a nice safe subject like accounting so that when you are finished university you can get a good job.

You start in that good job out of uni and then gradually work your way up the corporate ladder.

You meet a nice girl (not a bad girl) and settle down. You have 2.3 kids a dog and a cat and live in a nice little character house with a white picket fence. You spend your weekends going to barbecues.

When you are 65 you travel the world and see the sights.

Apart from this cookie cutter existence, you might aspire to be a sports star. If you haven’t achieved elite level at your chosen sport by the time you are 30 you are an abject failure in life.

Now when I read the headline of the blog post it resonated with me. I abhor the one size fits all, generic life but I do feel that pull of the ordinary.

The best way I have found to get through life though is to realise two important things. Firstly, we are all dead no matter what we do. Secondly nothing we do on this planet matters one bit. Once you realise this you are completely liberated.

This means that you don’t have to live life the way anybody else wants you to live your life. What you can do is do what you want in life.

There are scores of stories of people living a life trajectory that was decided for them by their parents. Often parents push their children in the direction of what they feel would have made an ideal life for them. Instead of deciding what their ideal life plan is, the child just adheres to the life plan their parents hand to them. It doesn’t matter whether it fits them or not.

It’s why people have midlife crises. People who stick to the narrowly defined parameters of what is socially acceptable look at people who reassess their lives at the midpoint and roll their eyes and use the term “midlife crisis” as a pejorative.

It’s not a midlife crisis; it’s a midlife assessment. When you are young you think life is eternal. There’s always time to do what you want.. later.

After 40 your body may have a few aches and pains that won’t go away from all of the times you have been injured playing sport and living life in an active way. You realise that this is a temporary gig.

At that point it’s time to look at your life and say who am I living my life for? Well I say if what you are doing is making you happy, you’re not doing life wrong, no matter whether or not the good people of society, the worthies, those who judge what is normal and what is not, think. It’s your life and you can live it how you want.

Image Source: nathanmac87 (Crowded Street  Uploaded by Anastasiarasputin) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

About The Author


A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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