“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself” – Henry David Thoreau
You can’t have it all. There are too many things in this world to strive for, obtain and achieve, the sad truth that we all need to accept is that nobody can ever have it all. Each of us needs to individually choose the things that are of the greatest value to us and make them the central driving forces of our daily decisions.
It is so easy to get pulled in several different directions at the same time. Do you want a successful and fulfilling career? Do you want to raise a family? Do you want to explore the world one country at a time? All of these sound great to me, but I can’t have it all.
As it is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, let’s use a holiday food analogy. After eating a very big dinner, it is time to choose a dessert. There are three different pies to choose from, but I am already feeling full. I can choose one piece of pie (this would be wise if I had a favorite), or I can choose to take a small sample of each of the three pies. With each choice, I am making a sacrifice. If I go for one pie only, I sacrifice getting to taste the other two, but if I choose to sample all of them, I will get a smaller portion of each and won’t have the most of my favorite pie.
Life choices work the same way, if you try to balance multiple goals at the same time, you sacrifice getting the most out of one experience in order to have a variety of experiences. It’s all mathematical; we all have a limited amount of time and energy so we must carefully choose where our time and energy is best spent. Which path will provide the most value? This answer will be different for everybody as there is not one set definition of value. There is not one specific way of measuring value.
I tend to feel envious of people who are experts in what they do. These people made a choice to spend most of their time developing that one specific skill. In doing so, they chose not to learn something else,/something new. I envy their passion. I feel like my passion is fake and doesn’t live up to theirs because it is not constant. I am too fickle to spend all of my time on one activity or skill. I am a cautious person and don’t like taking risks because I don’t want to close the door on other opportunities. I want a small taste of each pie!
I am aware that I miss out on the long term benefits of making a risky choice….but I gain the value of getting to experience multiple options.
I value variety!!
What do you value?