While reading Swami Ji’s last post on the Pyschology of money, I thought of writing on the topic of HOW versus WHAT. I feel there are 2 important questions to ask, How do I want to live OR what do I want to do?

I think we can safely say most of us are taught to focus on what we want to do in life. What do we want to study, what do we want to do for a living, what kind of house do we want to have and so forth. Based on that, we fit everything else in life.

Over the years I have felt that instead focusing on How I want to live is a better question to ask myself. And for that we need to have a clear understanding of our priorities. The 4F formula is the one I personally subscribe to.

Faith.Family.Finances. Fitness.

Asking myself questions about my priorities has really challenged me and helped me grow. For a long time I told myself excuses to not take up basic meditation and chanting. Its amazing how many smart answers my mind came up with. But I have always reminded myself of this quote by Richard Feynman. “Don’t try to fool anyone and remember the easiest person to fool is us ourselves.” Was Faith really my priority is I couldn’t even take out 10-15 mins in a day? Is family important to me if I can’t take out quality time for them? Am I being sincere about my finances and saving/investing? Is fitness really important to me if I keep eating junk food and can’t take out a few mins daily to exercise?

Every time I do this, it gives me a reality check. Then my mind is unable to trick me with excuses. Like last week when I decided to check my weight after about a month and the scale said I gained 10 pounds when all this time I had been telling myself that I’ve been eating healthy and exercising enough. To be real honest with you, my first reaction was, what’s wrong with this weighing scale!

Getting back to the 4F formula, writing down my priorities gives me that reality check in life. It has helped me to change my perspective on life and led me to focus on how I want to live. I am definitely a more content, happy, joyful and peaceful person now. I think if we can do this for ourselves and set this example for our children because they follow what we do and not what we say, we can help build a better society.

Sharing this inspirational quote from Henry David Thoreau. ” You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. “

I want to live a simple, joyful, peaceful, mindful life. I want to live a life where my existence is of benefit to others, to nature. Everything else can fit within this.

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Aditya Shahi

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