This series is an alphabetical exploration of 26 options for living well, despite everything. It answers the question–How can we live well, despite problems?
By getting our lives in order!
Disorder is a muddle. Havoc. A confusing, chaotic mess. A shambles. High Anxiety! Lawlessness!
Which is to say, disorder is incompatible with living well.
But order naturally deteriorates. The 2nd law of thermodynamics says that without intervention, all things move toward greater entropy and disorder.
We have to INTERVENE in the natural course of things in order to maintain order.
I, like most people, have struggled with getting and keeping my life in order. It took a mind-shift to get me out of chaos.
In seeking order for my life, I was focusing on organizing things, and keeping things tidy.
Tidiness, however, is merely the byproduct of Orderliness.
Orderliness comes from knowing my priorities and living according to my values.
How easy it is let things take their natural course, to get pulled into behaving as if I agree with what “everyone” seems to think is important:
- The accumulation of wealth and more wealth;
- Gaining favor with people in a position to return favors;
- Being popular and/or talented enough to impress people in a position to help me achieve my ambitions;
- And ultimately having enough charisma, status and power to boss a lot of other people around!
Although I don’t really believe wealth and status are the components of an authentically good life, I have to consciously intervene, to stop myself from sliding down the slippery slope that dumps me in the rat race.
When my life gets mired in chaotic frenzy, I find at the root of the disorder is a misplacement of priorities.
But when I define what’s good, and put goodness first, I’m able to get my life back in order.
So what, in life, is authentically good?
It’s ultimately a spiritual question, and therefore the answer also has to be spiritual.
Possessing these 3 things, makes life good**:
- Integrity (the will to do always do the right thing, instead of merely the compliant, complacent or convenient thing);
- Compassion (respecting the right of all people to live decently and comfortably);
- Humility (the understanding that I’m no more important than anyone else) .
Have you ever been able to change your habits without first changing your priorities?
**the answer to the question of “What makes a life good?” is found in the book of Micah, chapter 6 verse 8.