What is the simplest meaning in life
The meaning of life - an interview with Lars Amend about values, opportunities and Calendar sayings
“Life is not complicated. It's us. Life is simple and the simple is always right. ”This quote from Oscar Wilde can be found on the first pages of your book. Explain to me, Lars: why is life so easy?
Lars Amend: “The simple thing about life is actually that we already have the greatest victory we will ever claim under our belt: to be alive. We scurry around the whole day trying to be successful and happy - all the while forgetting: Everything that happens in life is just the cherry on the cake. We've had the cake a long time ago. "
In what way?
“The probability of being born a human is one in four hundred trillion, that is what clever people have calculated. You are more likely to win the lottery six times in a row than to be born a human - rather than an amoeba or fruit fly. And now we weren't just born somewhere, but in safe Central Europe. We have something to eat and a roof over our heads. Globally, we have the jackpot times ten. If we were aware of that every day, the rest would be totally easy. But we wake up every morning and think we are not enough, we do not have enough, there are so many people who are better, more beautiful, smarter than us ... and are in a permanent state of frustration. "
Okay, I get that: life is (or would be) easy. But what about the "right one" from the quote? What does "right" mean in a life?
Of course, there is no such thing as an absolute right or wrong. There's a right or wrong for me and a right or wrong for you. You can only lead a good life if your everyday life is in harmony with your personal value system. If, for example, my values are “freedom, family and nature”, but I live in the city, have a 15-hour day and am single, then I may be super successful from the point of view of society, but my personal value system is quite a whole other. So I will not lead a satisfied and successful life for myself.
Example: My father was a teacher and safety was always very important to him. That's why he became a civil servant. In my value system, freedom has this status. That's why I've never been permanently employed and I also have the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen tomorrow. My father once said to me: 'If I had your life, I would have nightmares.' Then I said to my father: 'I believe you. If I had your life, I would have it too. ‘Knowing where I will go every morning for the next thirty years would be very bad for me. So there is no right and no wrong, there is only what I personally feel is right.
Are we always aware of our own values?
"No. We are all brainwashed - from an early age. About teachers, society, advertising. We all have a picture in mind of what a good and happy life should look like. It takes a lot of trust in yourself to say, okay, somehow I have the feeling that I want to take a different path than my 25 classmates.
How do I find out that I really want to go a different way?
“In principle everyone has this quiet inner voice that tells you that. We just forgot to hear them. "
Because we …?
"... are too loud. Because we repeatedly expose ourselves to this noisy world unprotected. Rest helps. In meditation we hear the voice again. "
And when I know my values: Are they unchangeable for a lifetime? How do my genes?
“Of course they change. They should too. Shifting priorities is part of life. Life is a process. Anyone who has the same conversations at 17 as at 37 has not really made any progress in their development. That is also one of the reasons why it is so important to keep questioning yourself. For me, a successful life is when you look back at 95 and have no regrets. That doesn't mean that all of your dreams had to come true. But that you feel like you've tried it. A successful life means: not having missed opportunities. "
Even if every chance has not turned into something?
“It's about trying. 'There is a magic inherent in every beginning' - that is so true. And as soon as you start something with all your heart, doors open everywhere anyway. People come into your life and try to help you. Precisely because you weren't afraid to show the world that you exist. But if you stay at home on your sofa and hope that something will change, then you can wait forever.
In your book there is an opponent to the quiet inner voice: the "brainfucker" who wants to prevent you from going out into the world ... “It is the sum of the votes of the others - parents, neighbors, teachers. If one were esoteric, one would say: We all come into the world as divine beings, but over time we recognize it less and less because people have an impact on us. Or as Vincent van Gogh put it: We are all born artists and have to remember it as adults. "
And then someone comes along and says you can't draw.
"Exactly. ,You can not do it. You are not good enough Better not try it in the first place. ‘And at some point you go through the world and think you can do nothing, you are nothing. Until you realize: Wait a minute, get out of my head, you foreign voices! Gaining awareness that we are not those voices but that they are implanted in us ... it takes a long time. But as soon as you understand that, you are free because you know: this is my life, I can make my own decisions. And: It doesn't matter at all if someone says no to me. It has nothing to do with me personally, it's just one experience on my way out of a million. "
Well, some experiences can endanger your very existence. It doesn't all just happen in the head.
“When my mother left my father, he was in his mid-thirties, with two children, half a million in debt, and a house that was way too big. Of course it was tough, but we still had a good childhood and my father has a good life. But why does he have a good life? Because from the moment a new situation occurred, he did not compare this new situation with his past or with a dream about what his life should ideally have been like. My mentor Rudolf Schenker once said: 'Live every moment in the consciousness of a whole life.' I think that's beautiful. "
How can I imagine that in concrete terms?
“That means consciously perceiving every moment, not evaluating it, enjoying the espresso, the conversation, thinking about nothing but this moment - and still knowing that life is a marathon and not a hundred-meter sprint. When things don't go so well, I know it's only temporary, just a moment that passes again. What I can do now is to accept what is and think specifically about what I can do today to make it better. And be happy with full intent. "
And how does it work to be happy “on purpose”?
“By reminding yourself every morning: I just woke up again, I'm okay, I'm enjoying this coffee now, maybe only for three minutes, but every single sip. And you do that all day. Consciously enjoying little things again and again, waking up, breathing, feeling the sun, enjoying a good meal, an encounter. These are the things that matter. Everything else is as it is. Maybe you have an unpleasant conversation with the boss or you don't have enough money in your account - I don't want to talk nicely about that. But don't let it ruin your life. Imagine: There is a deliciously smelling pizza on the table in front of you, but something happened shortly before that that annoyed you. At that moment, you can either enjoy the pizza anyway - or you can choke the pizza down and be elsewhere in your mind. But it won't change the situation.
Is that what you mean by “change your perspective and you will change your world”?
"Yes. Focus on what is already there, on what is good. Someone drives you in your car and you think the world is going to end. What you forget: You have two great kids at home who are healthy; you have a job that you like; you have a great circle of friends, you have already booked your summer vacation ... lots of things that are already there. But that one thing overshadows all the other good things. I mean that. Try again and again to get an overall picture of your life in front of your eyes. "
In other words, it's actually about this polarity: on the one hand, being completely in these micro-moments - as with pizza - and, on the other hand, having the overall picture.
"Exactly. My grandma has already said, don't be blinded by successes and don't let yourself be dragged down by failures. Don't think you're the king just because something goes well. Then you don't have to feel like the beggar when things don't go well. In a way, you expect things to go well. At least that's how you often have a claim to yourself. Expectations make life complicated. That's why I always say: Exchange your expectations for gratitude. Once you have an expectation, you attach your happiness to the fact that that expectation is fulfilled; and as soon as this expectation - for whatever reason - does not occur exactly as you would like it to, you feel lowered in your self-worth. It doesn't matter if something doesn't go well. Be grateful that you are allowed to try it at all. "
My grandmother used to say: “Try to achieve the best possible, but don't make your luck dependent on it.” That sounds a bit like a calendar saying.
“How often do you think I hear from people: 'Lars, you and your eternal calendar sayings!' - Then I say: Yes, you are right. And your grandma was right too. Calendar sayings, as boring and flat as they may sound, are still true. Sometimes it just takes time to realize that. "
Because the record is also simple ... and the simple is the right thing.
15 suggestions for discovering the meaning of life
- Say "I love you" when you feel it.
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
- Keep things simple.
- Follow your heart even when nobody understands you.
- Go to places where you will be loved and not ignored.
- You wanna give up Remind yourself why you started.
- Live YOUR dream, not someone else's.
- Always give a little more than you get (you'll soon understand).
- Get up from the sofa and show the world that you exist.
- Leave the past in the past (that's where its place is).
- Start making your own happiness a priority # 1.
- Do something for the first time.
- Be grateful for the things that are already part of your life.
- I trust you.
- No more excuses.
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