This week i crossed a billboard with LG slogan Life’s good. Lg brand defines its identity as being Delightfully Smart http://www.lg.com/global/about-lg/brand-identity. It made me think of the meaning of “what is a good life ? ” after all.
I must say I thought about myself. Being selfish is sometimes good, especially if your main activity is about giving to others.
A French song gave some answers years ago already. La belle vie, from Sacha Distel, was translated into many languages https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSAzwlJCPU
“The good life: no love, no worry, no trouble…The good life: to be free and explore the unknown…The good life: lets you hide all the sadness you feel….”
My vision of a good life is built around 7 principles.
- Love and be loved
- Have enough money to be comfortable but don’t be obsessed by money
- Forget about being successful, care about doing what makes you happy
- Don’t waste your precious life working for others “above you”, work for those “below you”
- Surround yourself with good people and get rid of bad ones
- Be curious about others, look for the good side in people, don’t judge lightly others’behaviors
- Enjoy pleasure: food, wine, friends, beauty and laziness
It’s probably the most crucial element of a good life. Love is easy and cheap. It never divides, it multiplies. It’s interreactive: the more you love, the more you get loved. Love should not be made complicated. It should not be made a big thing. It’s just about putting it above all things. It can be about your family, friends or lovers. But it can be about anyone you can help. But don’t forget: you cannot love others fully if you don’t love yourself first !
It’s always a difficult point to talk about because it’s complex, goes deep in our roots and depends on each personal situation. Anyway, i beleive money shold not control our lives. In a very famous play called “L’avare” (The miser) written in the 17th century by French star writer, Molière, the main character, Harpagon, is feeling miserable because he can’t sleep at night. He’s so rich that he fears to be stolen at every minute. It’s of course a caricature and many of you will object that misery is worse, my point is that money should not be an obsession. It’s good when it allows you to enjoy a minimum standard of living of course. It’s still better when it brings you freedom. It’s fantastic when it allows you to be generous to others. But think deeply at the following question: ” Could I still be happy with much less money that I have now” .
I can see a lot of posts on social media related to the dream of being successful. Success is very personal. For some it’s about being some kind of celebrity, for others it’s about having a good social position in life. Some are dreaming about becoming the next Jack Ma. Whatever your dream, I believe that success never comes out of a plan. Although I encourage my young friends to have a life strategy, I strongly recommend them to focus on the activities that make them truly happy. Or else, you may “look successful” but you’re not truly happy, as a doctor I met last week, a 41 year old super specialist in a subsection of cardiology. Recognized as one of the best in his profession, he confessed me that he thought he missed his vocation to be an business entrepreneur… So sad !
About working for others
Life is a perishable good. You only realized that when you see the end of the pack ! Besides that, it’s a luxury good. Don’t waste caviar. Eat it slowly and consiously ! Famous songwriter and singer Bob Dylan once wrote https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPh3hpxLKs :
“You could’ve done better, but I don’t mind. You just kinda wasted my precious time”
I realized that wasting our precious time in trying to please some superiors who “use us” is terrible. Superiors can be your boss, your shareholders, your board or even your customers. You serve their interests but most of the time they let you go without any recognition. People under your responsibility are the one to work for. Elevate them, train them, mentor them, give them more responsibilites and credit for it. I remember seeing that on the wall of my first boss at Procter & Gamble. You will be more efficicient, the team will be more productive and they will never forget you!
About people around you
It takes sometimes long before realizing the impact of bad “toxic” people may have on you ! It takes a lot of your good energy to fight for no result at the end. You expect people to become good. You think you have the power to change them but no way, it just gets worse. Toxic people can hide behind an apparently nice personality. They may seem good to everyone and especially you. But at some point you realize they’re desctructive. When you’re feeling the symptoms, quit ! Don’t wait ! Go ! Even if it’s an admission of failure.
Good people is what you want to favor. They not only give you positive energy, they help you become better. It’s probable that you find that good people are very simple. They can be a neighbour, someone less educated than you or the security guard. They care for you even they don’t expect anything from you. They talk common sense ! I also like to work with people who are enthusiastic, forward looking, generous and openminded. When I’m working with them, i feel so good, so strong, so energetic ! Even if they’re not always the perfect specialist in what they do, they bring an extraordinary value. Do like me: find yours !
About being curious
Be curious about everything ! Life is so rich. Life is good when you pick up its fruits. So, look for the fruit trees ! Being music, food, cultures or books, I like to discover new things all the time. I like to try. I want to discover. It’s gorgeous. I’m also curious of people. Everyone has a story to tell. Or a hidden story I’d like to know. I envy famous Belgian born writer, now deceased, Georges Simenon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Simenon He travelled the world to discover human nature and wrote so deeply about it. When you’re constantly curious, you experience more, you look for the good side in people, you don’t judge lightly others’behaviors and your life is so much more exciting.
About enjoying pleasure
Some learned to mistrust pleasure ! They were taught to prefer austerity. Some religions or philosophies preach it. Some others don’t. Whatever the reason, pleasure is the main ingredient of “the good life”. I personally love food, wine, friends, beauty and laziness 🙂 Food is a never ending source of felicity. Whether I’m cooking myself or I’m experimenting a great chef creativity, I’m feeling belssed. I shared meals with families in Vietnam which it left me speechless in delectation. All what is flattering my taste is also my pleasure: fine wine, special beers, a subtile gin tonic prepared with art and mastery.
Sharing pleasure with friends makes it stronger. Beauty is also a pleasure I enjoy with no restriction. I taught my children to be alluring, to like a beautiful table, to care for the decoration of a plate. I like the beauty of architecture, objects and places. I love the beauty of the sky, the nobility of trees and the perfection of a British lawn. And I must admit I like the beauty of women too, the good thing about the beauty of human beings being that it’s not related to the perfection of the body but to the depth of the soul.
And finally, one of my ultimate pleasure is laziness. Lazy Sunday mornings in bed, lazy moments in a bathtub, lazy summer days with a good book. We’re overloaded with work and other activities. It’s killing our creativity. You need time to be alone with yourself with no other plan but stretching your body and yawning. Then, your brain will finally be the most productive engine of your entire self !
I was a bit long today, but I don’t care if you read only one of two things of this…
Be inspired !