In his wonderful article “Prioritizing Retirement Tradeoffs” Mark Miller raises the possibility that keeping one’s nose to the grindstone, delaying gratification for 30 years and then completely retiring may not be the best strategy for everyone. Based on all my study, this “retirement” scenario is also a fairly recent- and often destructive -fabrication as we’ve marched lockstep toward ever higher productivity and ever greater commerce in our post-industrial age. Have we lost sight of the purpose of all this productivity and commerce? Who or what is it really serving? Or is it killing us, our society and our planet?
Before I elaborate on Miller’s article, let me segue you to a brilliant YouTube video (which I highly recommend you view immediately) by Martin Boroson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8
called The One Moment Meditation. I’m serious. Go to that link right now.
If I may be so bold, my takeaway is this supposition: What if the number one thing you are working your ass off for, struggling for, hoping for, saving for, (and fearing you’ll never achieve), were right here, right now? If you make a serious attempt to watch and listen to Boroson’s short video you may get a glimpse of what I’m talking about: that sense of calm well-being, satisfaction, wholeness. Why do we make it so difficult and conditional? Can you capture in a Moment the same feeling you think a 10,000 square foot mansion will give you? Please take a Moment to view the video, and then come back here.
I believe that The One Moment Meditation is a microcosmic experience of the scenario Miller describes in his article. Just like finding moments of peace amongst the chaos, couples who save less in favor of more vacations, working less, and other fulfilling activities are often able to work longer, save longer, and live longer and more happily to boot. Why wait to enjoy life until you’re too unhealthy to enjoy it? That Protestant work ethic and self denial need moderation, don’t they?