A particular guilt factory has set itself up in my head. It’s been there a long time.
We all seem to have it these days.
It’s the cult of more and better. Optimise your time. Get better results. Have better children. Procrastinate less. Make lists. Download an app to make better lists. Download an app that make the app to make better lists better.
Or, to put it another way, if you’re not running after the best, you’re wasting your life. That’s the implication. No one ever says it, but if you’re not working better, if you’re not fine-tuning the afterburners, if you’re not running faster… you’re losing.
Unless you’re hacking yourself, you’re losing. And not just losing at anything: Losing at life.
John Piper wrote a book for the Christ-hacker set called “Don’t Waste Your Life”. I wish I’d never read it.
There’s no way to walk away from that book without two heaping spoonfuls of guilt.
Sure, you’re washed in the blood of the lamb, but don’t dare spend your retirement on a yacht! You could be doing something better.
But then, you could always be doing something better.
Say you’re a missionary. From all appearances your mission isn’t doing that well. Well, if you weigh the spiritual pros and cons, and think about “impact”, you should probably take off. After all, you don’t want to waste your life, right?
Some people can live like this. I can’t. I get exhausted just thinking about it.
I don’t want to optimise my “time management” to “get stuff done”.
I don’t want to look at all the stuff I can’t get done and feel guilty about it.
I don’t want to have to gauge the supposed quality of my life.