The One Thing You Must Do to Have a Good Life

Filed in Living by on July 23, 2015 0 Comments

Ecology house in hands

Many people are very unhappy with their lives. Things have not worked out well and they find themselves in a bad situation, whether it is a lousy job, difficult spouse, poor health, broken finances, or, sadly, all of the above.

The way to avoid this unfortunate circumstance, and have a good life, is to be highly consistent in making careful and reasoned life choices.

Let’s first go back to basic principles. I like to do this whenever I am analyzing any situation.

Have you ever noticed how slow and painstaking it is to create something, and how swift and easy it is to destroy it? I have always been amazed at the awesome power of destruction. You can spend hours and days building a model car, assembling the pieces, carefully painting it, lovingly adding interesting detail. Then when it is finally completed, you can destroy it by simply smashing it with your fist!

A house takes months or years to build, yet can be destroyed with a single match. Trust in a marriage takes decades to build, but one indiscretion with a coworker will completely shatter it. A life can be ended with a single unwise decision to drive drunk. Entire cities that were built over centuries have been destroyed in a flash, with the drop of an atomic bomb.

Indeed, creating is hard and requires much discipline and patience, while destruction is unnervingly quick and simple.

So how can we apply this fundamental concept to our lives? The lesson is to be very, very careful how you make major life decisions. It only takes a couple of poor decisions to make a mess of your life.

I observe teenagers who select a college based on where their girlfriend or boyfriend is planning to go, and then choose their major based on what seems kind of cool at the time (or easy). Upon graduation, they then get stuck in a lousy paying job, or can’t find a job at all. Young adults have unprotected sex, someone gets pregnant, and then they end up marrying a person they don’t particularly like, let alone love. People impulsively buy new, high-end cars they can’t really afford, as well as motorcycles, boats, and other luxury items, and then wind up working until they die.

It is somewhat a cruel fact of life that it requires making very carefully reasoned and good decisions in a highly consistent manner to build a good life, and only a couple of big mistakes to screw it all up.

Be patient, disciplined, and smart in your decision-making, and build a good life.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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