Dec 13, 2018 04:00:25

Dilemma - enjoying vs improving the world

by @jasonleow | 387 words | 110🔥 | 110💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 110🔥
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Day 7 of the #200wad challenge. 


"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." - E.B. White


This quote couldn't have resonated more, at this time when I'm on a personal solo retreat in Bali. 


I'm often in a dilemma when planning out my day here. Improve world, or enjoy world? Work, or play? The first 1-2 weeks was work and more work because I was trying to launch the Grant Hunt chat bot. But now, I seem to have balanced things out better - working a few hours in the morning till afternoon, then heading out to explore some beautiful rice fields or Balinese village, take walks and fly my drone.


That's purely from the perspective of how I schedule my time. But lately, I could feel my own internal compass shifting. And valuing and weighing things differently. Since the 200wordsaday platform doesn't allow me to display pictures, I'll have to use words. Now picture a see-saw, and on the left side sits "Improve the world" while on the right side sits "Enjoy the world".


Previously, improving the world was everything to me. All my decisions weighted heavily on improving the world. I was biased towards doing, towards action. And I was ambitious. I wanted to achieve. A lot. Perhaps too much. So much so that enjoying the world took a backseat. That led to cyclical brownouts, eventually leading to burnouts. 


This year, however, I'm feeling increasingly tilted towards the other side of wanting to enjoy the world. I started to feel less anxious about not working as much, even slacking off sometimes! Fun became more important. I planned out all my trips this year way in advance. I looked forward to them. I tried new hobbies - pottery, drone videography, learning Japanese, chasing anime episodes (DragonBall Super!) on Sunday morning.  


"Passing through middle life means becoming more and more what wants to be expressed through us." - Ali Schultz


Perhaps it's from turning 40 soon. Maybe midlife has a way of readjusting what's important and meaningful. Priorities shift towards "what wants to be expressed through me". No matter what, I'm definitely enjoying this change in the seasons.


The world can wait. 

From Jason Leow's collection:

  • 1

    @jasonleow This is a great reminder. As adults we sometimes can get caught up in the day-to-day that we lose that sense of what it was like when we were kids and there was a lot more fun. Fun shouldn't be just reserved to the weekends or 2 weeks of vacation every year or saved until you are a particular age and can finally "retire." Thanks for this post!

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Dec 13, 2018 13:50:16
    • 1

      @brandonwilson thanks for reading. Glad it resonated for you. :)

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Dec 13, 2018 14:28:09
  • 1

    @jasonleow
    "Get the Business Done...
    ...Then, Go out and Have some Fun-In-The-Sun.
    My Philosophy.

    Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Dec 13, 2018 12:53:45
  • 1

    @jasonleow This really resonates with me personally. As someone recently turned 40 I have only lately started to ponder similar thoughts.
    For me, it has been trying to find things to do that are both enjoyable personally and at possibly a chance to make a difference in the world around me.

    Janne Koponen avatar Janne Koponen | Dec 13, 2018 06:47:09
    • 1

      @Arcticloon yes exactly! Was just chatting the same thing with a friend on FB, and thinking deeper, I realised perhaps it doesn't have to be a dichotomy, an either/or between improving the world vs enjoying it. Just have to find ways that does both haha.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Dec 13, 2018 08:57:46
  • 1

    @jasonleow thanks for sharing! I definitely feel like we're too oriented towards trying to optimize our time in terms of value, but there's certainly merit to leisure as well.

    Victoria Maung avatar Victoria Maung | Dec 13, 2018 04:38:49
    • 1

      @vickenstein indeed! I learned it the hard way, and still learning how to do leisure properly!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Dec 13, 2018 05:01:31
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