In Through the Looking-Glass, the Red Queen “takes Alice on a wild run through the countryside. But no matter how fast Alice runs she can’t seem to get anywhere.
“Finally, breathless from her efforts, the Queen allows her to rest long enough for Alice to comment that ‘Everything is just as it was!’ to which the Queen replies, ‘…Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'”
In his article Living Simply in a Complex World, Brad Swift continues, “Several years ago, I remembered Alice’s predicament, as I stood on the deck outside my home, gazing into a meandering stream threading its way through my back yard. I thought Alice must have felt similar to how I was feeling about my life.
“I was physically exhausted and emotionally out of breath, running as fast as I could to keep up with an out-of-control lifestyle of my own making.
“As I gazed across the wooded lot and listened to the bubbling of the water across the rocks, I realized the scene before me had been much of the reason I had purchased the home about a year before.
“At the time I had imagined spending countless hours out on the deck, basking in the sun, watching the seasons roll by, but the seasons had rolled by without me. I’d not so much as stepped foot on the deck in all that time.”
Not running as fast as you can just to keep up
He explains, “I’d been too busy working 50-60 hours a week at my veterinary practice so I could pay the mortgage on the house, not to mention keeping two car payments up, and the three credit cards paid down.
“Like Alice, I realized something was wrong with this picture. I was running as fast as I could just to keep up.
“I’d like to say that out of that realization I put the house on the market, traded the cars in for older models without payments, cut up my credit cards, and started living a simpler life.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I hadn’t suffered enough yet. It wasn’t until my second marriage ended in divorce and I came close to burn out in my profession before the lesson finally hit home.”
Read more of the article: Living Simply in a Complex World.
See video of Swift in the Meaning and Purpose section.
Brad Swift is founder of Life On Purpose Institute – “These turbulent times may be the ideal time to clarify your life purpose because many of the things you may have misidentified as your purpose may have been stripped away — that job or career, or those life roles — being a good parent, or a loyal employee, or an outstanding member of the community.
“While these are important, they’re not your life purpose, and thinking that they are can be a major roadblock to identifying your true life purpose.”