In the past fifteen years, the only time I didn’t look at my bank account every day was when I was doing something I was passionate about.
Altucher, James | Choose Yourself (p. 130)
Everything seems really important. Your job, your bank account, your house, your car, your clothes. Your TV. The shows you watch on your TV. Your furniture.
I walk around my suburban neighborhood in the summer, and it’s all pristine yards. Green grass, well trimmed. Well maintained landscaping. To be clear, this includes my house. And I walk around, and I can’t help but wonder: Do we all care this much about our lawns? Is this really important enough to justify the amount of time and money spent?
I think most people don’t actually care about these things, at all – or, put more honestly, I don’t think I care about these things at all, in spite of the fact that they feel important to me. You probably have a different set of things that feel important but you don’t care about, which overlaps to some degree with mine.
I have an actual list titled “things I don’t care about”, which includes the things above. Making that list is difficult, because if you want it to be meaningful, you have to be really painfully honest about it. And maybe I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t care about how my yard looks, but I do. I actually love yardwork. That’s ok. Making a conscious decision, giving it some actual thought is what is valuable.
Here’s what I find more interesting, day to day: the amount of time and effort I spend thinking about or working on the things that are on my “things I don’t care about” list is directly related to how excited I am about whatever else I’m doing in my life. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how justifiable it would be to buy a new car? Perusing luxury home listings and thinking about how to get rich? Probably a good indicator that I don’t really care about what I’m doing with the rest of my day.
” … for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Jobs, Steve | Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005