A Simple Rule For Doing Worthy Stuff


The things most worth doing aren’t easy, simple, or comfortable. That much you know. So what are they?

Here’s a simple rule. They’re paradoxes. They make us hurt while they make us smile. They make us laugh while they make us ache. They make us dream while they make us suffer. They leave us awed with gratitude while they teach us what loneliness means.

That is, they hold within them a fullness. Of us. Not just in the sense of that we “contain multitudes”. But in the truer sense that we must live the truth of a thing to know it. And the truth of a thing is not merely the good in it, or the bad in it — but the bad in the good, and the good in the bad. Even our own very selves.

See the guy in the picture? Floating free in space, above the glimmering earth? He doesn’t just feel awe. I’d bet he feels awe, fear, loneliness, terror, astonishment, surprise, peace, grace, compassion. That’s multidimensionality of experience is what worthy things produce not just for us — but in us. That’s why they feel worthy, enriching, unforgettable, remarkable.

So here’s a simple rule of thumb. If it doesn’t evoke all of you, it probably isn’t worth doing. If it just makes you feel one way — if it’s one-dimensional — instead of making you feel conflicted, puzzled, torn — choose something else.

Because it’s in that tension that all which is great within you — perseverance, empathy, passion, imagination, struggle — will emerge.