Take It to the Limit
Jonathan Clements | March 18, 2017
WE IMAGINE WE finally have everything sorted out, only to wake the next morning with a gnawing sense of uncertainty, plus the milk’s sour and we’re out of coffee.
Welcome to the human condition.
We lead lives bounded by limitations, some self-imposed and some imposed on us. Here are just 15 of the obstacles we face:
- No accomplishment leaves us happy and satisfied for long.
- Our days are numbered, but we don’t know the count.
- Next week, the house will need to be cleaned again.
- We hunger to relax, only to hanker for activity.
- We do foolish things to feel better in the moment: smoke, gamble, drink too much, take drugs, eat badly, spend excessively.
- We think we know others, but we only ever know part of their story.
- Today’s proudly purchased possessions elicit tomorrow’s ho-hum.
- We have unwavering trust in our own unreliable memories.
- We keep having to stop for sleep and sustenance.
- We’re surrounded by lesser mortals, who refuse to see things our way.
- Our bodies fail us gradually, and sometimes all too quickly.
- After we cross the finish line, another appears in the distance.
- We think we’re rational, but much of the time we aren’t thinking straight.
- For any given activity, there’s a 50% chance we’re below average.
- Today’s issues seem so important. A year from now, we can’t imagine why.
Some of these constraints are beyond our control. Some offer the possibility of self-improvement. At a minimum, we should strive for a sense of perspective, so our days aren’t marred by too much self-inflicted nonsense.