Let's Go to the Woods - A Lesson from Walden Pond - Learning to Live Deliberately
I receive an email newsletter once a week from Dan Miller, author of the very popular, "48 Days to the Work You Love," and several other books. A few years ago the newsletter had a piece centered on Henry David Thoreau and his decision at age 28 to be a non-conformist, which changed literature as we know it today. You see, he made the decision to build a small house on Walden pond where he devoted him self to writing and his journey for the simple life. This Walden journey began with, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...."
I often wonder how many of us really wish for the simple life but are unwilling to make the sacrifices that it requires even though those sacrifices often lead to a more productive and fruitful life blessed with plenty of everything we need and more. We spend our lives chasing the dollar in order to find happiness only to find that happiness isn't really there. We chase and gather... chase and gather... chase and gather..... and in the end all we have is a bunch of stuff. Sure, stuff can make our lives easier but does it really provide us what we need?
Stuff is one of those things that can be very deceptive. Dave Ramsey refers to the accumulation of stuff as "stuffitis" and we tend to think that the more stuff we have the higher we will be on the pecking order for friends and acquaintances. We struggle to keep up with the neighbors and strive for their approval of what we are doing. There is only one thing wrong with this. Accumulation of "stuff" usually comes with a sacrifice in the form of debt and what goes along with it. Usually, those that you are trying to keep up with are doing the same thing and are broke and wish they could get out of the cycle.
Breaking the cycle is easy. You just have to disembark from the train at the next stop and make the decision that you want to change the way you live. You have to decide to quit pursuing things that don't really matter in the end but instead focus on things that provide long term fulfillment.
I have a good friend that I have watched over the last few years after meeting through an online community of which I was a member. I frequent her blog and wait anxiously to read about the next adventure in her life and over the last few years, there have been several of those adventures.
I remember when she got married to the love of her life. I remember the struggles she had with trying to have a child and everything her and her husband went through. I remember reading about the joy she felt when she finally conceived and the hope that everything would be ok. I remember when the baby was born and most of all, I remember holding her baby and "dancing" with him at an event where we were both in attendance. You see, I have taken note of the events in their lives because I have been impressed by her connection with family and how that is the most important thing to her. Like Thoreau, she wanted something that meant the most to her and was willing to give up a business that she dearly loved in order to do so. She lived deliberately, and she and her husband have recently again been blessed with a beautiful daughter. You can read more about her story on her blog.
I wonder how many of us are secretly just like Thoreau and want to go to the woods......
I wonder how many of us would even consider living deliberately........
I wonder even more how many would be willing to make that sacrifice.........
Gandhi said, "There is more to life than simply increasing it's speed."
Is your speed increasing with little or no satisfaction in life?
Maybe it is time to go to the woods........
Beautiful Image, but even more beautiful story!
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