I know that I’ve entertained doing something different, and it turns out I’m not the only one. It’s very common in knowledge workers:
He argues that the forced self-reflection created by the pandemic led many knowledge workers to rethink their whole lives. They went out in search of simplicity, community, and less hurry. And, anecdotally, it seems some of them found what they were looking for. Newport mentions a friend who downsized early in the pandemic and has never looked back.
But all of this tells me that when we pause long enough to actually ask ourselves, “what am I doing with my life?” we often don’t like the answer we hear. This is part of the reason we like to keep so busy; to drown out the existential questions with noise. We’d rather not sit with such an unsettling question. The pandemic, however, sat us down in a room and wouldn’t let us leave until we faced our lives head-on.
If we’re honest, much of what we chase in this life isn’t driven by our values. And moreover, I’m convinced it’s often not even driven by our own desires. Most of us construct our lifestyles according to the expectations (both real and imagined) of others.
Too often this is the engine that drives our productivity. We do more to get more. And often we don’t even want the more that we’re getting. But we feel we ought to want it because everyone else seems to. We live in this constant state of fear that everybody knows something we don’t. That we must live and work at this frantic pace because that’s just what’s done. This has been the story of my Christian life.In Search of the Simple Life
This article makes you think– do your priorities match what you’re doing? What would it take to get there?