What is the answer to life?
That famous question asked in Douglas Adam’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and answered by his fictional supercomputer ‘Deep Thought,’
“the answer to life, the universe and everything is…42”
At CBTHBN we like to think this answer is true, because as Douglas Adams famously clarified, after super fans spent years trying to work out, the formula or meaning behind his selection of the number 42:
“It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, and Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’ I typed it out. End of story.”
And that’s just it, the answer to life is whatever you choose to make it. People often cynically say that life has no meaning but we don’t agree with this, it is impossible to live a life without meaning. Even if you are going through the motions of a meaning, you have a meaning, it is not a purpose but a drive. A self-initiated dream or goal that propels you through your time on earth. This week we aren’t going to waste your time hypothesising what the meaning of life, the universe and everything is, but instead ask you what would your answer be?
The average millennial is estimated to live to 100, our initial question to go with this is will we still get a letter from the Queen, or more probably King when we reach the big 1 0 0 ? But equally if we are going to make it to triple figures we’d like to know we’ve made them count. Now is the time to make active changes, to seize the opportunity to make the most of our lifetimes. We are fortunate that we don’t have to get a job as stay with it for 20 years like our parents did. Nor do we have to start a family before we turn 35. The world is getting smaller by the minute and anything you could ever dream of doing is possible if you simply set your mind to it.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because the world needs people who have come alive”
— Howard Thurman
What would your obituary read?
Obituary, defined as “a notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.”
For many of us, an obituary is the only time we will be written about in a formal sense. However, obituaries as they have always been known, are a thing of the past unless you are famous or wealthy. As local papers cease to exist or sell out to larger advertising spreads, one of the first things to go is the obituary page. Sandwiched between job vacancies and town gossip the obituary and engagement announcements traditionally kept town busybodies up to date. As times change and people become less reliant on the local newspaper to stay up to date the use of an obituary has also changed. We’ve heard stories of cancer patients planning their funerals and writing their own obituaries, but what if you didn’t wait for death to be at your door to write your obituary? It is quite common for those attending sessions with life coaches or journalism school training to be asked to write one’s own obituary. So this week we’d like you to think about your own.
How would you like to be remembered, would it be in your actions, your achievements or your outlook? Writing your own obituary isn’t so different to writing a CV or LinkedIn profile, however, this is a chance to be completely yourself. To not have to up-sell or market oneself. In a lifetime that could span 100 years you’ve got plenty of time to pack in everything from backpacking to fundraising or building a home. We each have a different view on what our life will be; some of us live to become housewives and raise three children and a dog whilst others dream of travelling the world never stopping or looking back. We’d quite like both of the above and we’re not going to stop till we’ve got them and more. Whatever choices you make with your life it is important to remember the following simple thoughts:
1. Prepare yourself for life’s curveballs.
2. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
Every journey is unique, don’t miss out on being able to tell your own story.
“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream” — CS Lewis
Does it spark joy?
In her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ Marie Kondo discusses how our possessions can bring us joy, and how those that don’t, cloud our judgement and prevent us from living the lives we want. Kondo’s book is focused on enabling the reader to ‘transform your home into a permanently tidy, clutter-free space and be amazed at how your whole life changes.’ At CBTHBN we are only halfway through our read and already itching to reassess our possessions, (more on this in an upcoming post). But for now we would like to focus on what Kondo preaches. Kondo’s tidying / clearout method instructs the user to …
“Take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does not, throw it out… [in context] Imagine yourself living in space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn’t this the lifestyle you dream of?”
In our reading and study of this method, we have found we have wanted to draw this theory to more than material possessions. As Kondo so eloquently puts it we only want to surround ourselves with people and experiences that bring us joy. So this week at CBTHBN we challenge you to open your eyes and take note of those things that spark joy. Be it an action, a person, a location or a possession. Make time to appreciate the things that bring you joy and remember if something doesn’t spark joy, let it go. We are in the runnings for a 100-year life so let’s make sure it’s a joyful one.
Live a life that sparks joy