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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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What have you taken for granted in your daily life and can benefit from re-examining it to make life more purposeful, beautiful, meaningful?

Life can become very mundane when repetitivity occurs.

There was a time when you may have tried extremely hard to get to the place you are today. It may have been a great moment when you achieved an end goal, though time takes its toll and things in your life may begin to feel complacent.

Complacency is defined by merriam-webster.com as "an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction." or "self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies".

Have you ever asked yourself "what more can life offer than what I already have"?

I believe the answer to such a question can begin from within.

List at least one aspect of your life you benefited from re-examining.

Try to write a comment unlike the previous comments, with a different perspective of life, but any comment is much appreciated.

I'll share first; I have taken for granted my existence in this vast universe and I haven't always treated my body with the respect that it deserves. I now see life in a brand new perspective that the simple things can actually be the most magical and complicated, like the function of human sight, though I am still human and flawed, but like everyone, I continue to learn, adapt, and love.

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    Mar 25 2013: Hello again Derek,
    I don't feel like I've taken things for granted in my life, and I believe that to be part of the underlying foundation of my contentment. Life can become very mundane.....IF.....we allow that to happen. Each moment of the life experience has never happened before, and will never happen again, so it is always new for me. I like exploring life with the unconditional love and curiosity of a child.

    As you wrote in your indroduction, complacency is an instance of unawareness. We have a choice to be aware, or unaware in each moment....why would we NOT choose awareness, which may prevent complacency? You are absolutely right.....the answers come from within.

    That being said, I am often re-examining aspects of my life, because as I grow and learn, I often perceive things from different perspectives, and on deeper levels.

    I speak about a near fatal injury often, because there were HUGE lessons with that event. Although I previously didn't take my experience as a human for granted, after the experience, I appreciated some simple things, like the ability to walk, talk, see, hear, etc. with new gratitude.

    Before the incident, I was a very active human. After regaining consciousness, I was reminded that there were lots of things which I had no control of, and part of the the big lesson, was learning to be more interdependant...going with the flow...letting go of thinking that I could control some aspects of my life....accepting....going along for the ride with as much consciousness and love as I can muster in the moment:>)
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      Apr 5 2013: Hi Colleen,
      "I like exploring life with the unconditional love and curiosity of a child." I can really get the feel of your youthful mind through your comments. It is this awareness that keeps things fresh and interesting. Without your profile picture, I bet there wouldn't be much indication of your real age from how you comment.

      That brings me to a new thought, can people tell exactly how old someone is by how they comment?
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        Apr 6 2013: Thank you Derek! Yes.... "youthful" indeed....getting closer and closer to 70 all the time! LOL:>)

        I cannot tell the age of a person from comments. In fact, there have been times when it feels like a person is very old and wise based on his/her comments, and then I discover s/he is a teenager. I am very impressed with the young insightful people commenting here on TED. Then, there are times when, based on the profile pic and information, a person is obviously older, thinks s/he is very wise and "right" most of the time!!! LOL:>) It is interesting.....is it not?
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          Apr 6 2013: Regarding whether it is possible to be content: Yes, I'm pretty content. Probably I have a complainer's mentality, I'm more inclined to focus on the things that make me unhappy than the ones that make me happy. That might not be so bad, actually, because as you try to fix the things that make you unhappy, you learn a lot of interesting things. I sometimes wish other people would complain more.

          You never seem to complain, Colleen. What makes you want to complain?
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          Apr 7 2013: "Do you think/feel it is possible to be content/satisfied where you are at the moment, and still look toward climbing the mountains and crossing the seas?"

          I do think it can be possible to be content/satisfied and still be aware of the challenges that lie ahead. Being open minded and accepting or tolerant of change will be helpful for this state of mind. That is a challenge in itself.
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        Apr 8 2013: Greg,
        I don't perceive you to be a complainer.....just very curious, which I love!

        I learned a long time ago that people don't really listen when we complain a lot anyway, so it's a waste of energy! I don't see anything to complain about most of the time. If I see something that needs to change, I go into the "change" mode. Complaining doesn't take us to any solution.

        Derek,
        I agree Derek, that it is possible to be content/satisfied and still be aware of the challenges....also agree that being open minded and accepting of change is helpful. I've been practicing this for quite a long time, which is why I don't need to complain, and why I'm usually content:>)
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    Mar 25 2013: you what Derek, the simple fact that I woke up this morning to participate in another day of my journey , I am grateful for. Some days I find the warrior in me to face my challenges ready to win battle. Most days( and the most challenging) the first words that leave my lips are "today I greet the world with love in my heart". these days i find my greatest successes, surely no complacency here!
  • Mar 28 2013: The nature of sexuality and intimacy. I used to think of things being very limited - this was straight, this was gay, this was wrong, this was right - and all I still live in a very conventional way, my mind is much more open than it used to be. Things are grey with these matters; not like an old dish cloth but more like a beautiful, Autumn skyline.
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      Apr 5 2013: Tom, that is very true. Your analogy is very nice as well. Thank you.
  • Mar 25 2013: It is easy to take our loved ones for granted. Sometimes because we underestimate the misery of living without love, and sometimes because we are too selfish and we focus too much on the things they've not done for us.
    So, this happens to me. I have to remind myself that neither I nor my lover(s) will be here forever. Now is the time to be grateful.
    Good health is a blessing i've been grateful for. And sometimes I have to remind myself of the privilege I have to live a decent and dignified life (instead of bothering about some grand things that has not happened).
    These thoughts have been enriching.
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      Apr 5 2013: Yes, I agree. Your comment reminds me of people who believe in reincarnation. They often don't live their life to the fullest and at their kindest in this lifetime because they think that life with continue and renew. I feel regardless if reincarnation exists people should live to their fullest, at their best, and at their kindest in their current life.
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    Mar 25 2013: the fact is, I've re-examined a million things, life has over and over forced me to learn more about a particular subject that I wouldn't have done it otherwise. It usually seems to be some sort of discomfort or unhappiness that forces me to look anew at some aspect of life in order to try to make it better. Is that a little depressing, Derek, that the only way I reexamine is over discomfort or unhappiness, well, when life is going good, as they say, if it isn't broken don't fix it?
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      Mar 25 2013: Hi greg,

      Could you at least share an experience that you went through that isn't excruciating for you to share?

      I don't want to provoke you to dwell on bad things, but I find that sometimes I need to give something up in life to progress into a newer, better state of mind, which is a bit like "self-breaking". I suppose that is minimalism 101, I think. I tend to examine things over and over, but it has yet to become mundane, nor has it had any noticeable negative consequences.
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        Mar 25 2013: Well, most of it isn't excruciating, just difficult. I lived in the Westlake area of Los Angeles, about three blocks east of MacArthur Park, for ten years. I left, moved away, about five years ago to move back to Glendale where I grew up. Do you know Westlake, Derek? Basically I got a job in downtown L.A. parking cars, and I wanted to be able to walk to work, which I could do from Westlake. I knew L.A. pretty well, having lived here almost all of my 53 years, but I did not know Westlake. It was something of a revelation for me. I am white, with something of a privileged background. My parents were wealthy, I have an English degree from Stanford. Westlake at that time, and probably still now, was about 97% Hispanic, and mostly poor people in the country illegally. In many ways, it was a great ten years. It was such a privilege to get such a rich exposure to Hispanic people, Hispanic culture and ways of living and ways of thinking, Hispanic food, and more. It probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't moved there. So maybe this is a partial answer to your question: I might have taken Hispanic people for granted, but by moving here and being hugely exposed to them, I stopped doing that. Possibly this is a credit to me, because other people like me might have been too snobbish to move into Westlake, whereas I'm not too snobbish. So although I first said it was problems that caused me to re-examine my life, that's not all true. In many cases, it has been good things happening that caused me to broaden my thinking. But I do think in many cases it is problems that cause examination, and Westlake also had its share of difficult times for me. If it turns out you're interested in this, I'll tell you more when it's not 4 in the morning.

        What things do you like to examine?
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          Apr 5 2013: I examine all my choices, actions, and decisions in life and more than once at times. I sometimes feel as though I have two separate brains. There is the person in physical form, and then I have the non-physical cognitive self which tries to examine everything from external to internal, as in why things are the way they are and how I can make things better inside and out without taking the unique qualities out of me or my environment. I think it is something I struggle to cope with, but I couldn't imagine not having this heightened awareness of things. I believe it is due to the fact that I grew up as an outsider, so I still feel like an outsider even with others, but I feel like I accepted that part of myself. It keeps me open minded to the vast possibilities when I have this mindset, though it drains me each day, so I think I'm missing a few steps to it, which asking a community of people can always be helpful with finding a solution. "Two heads are better than one", or something like that. =)
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        Apr 5 2013: Re "I examine": In what sense did you grow up an outsider, Derek? I think I was a bit of an outsider, too, being something of a "nerd" and only having a few friends (who were all "nerds," too.)

        Do you like being the way you are? It sounds a little exhausting.
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          Apr 6 2013: I just had a lack problem solving skills growing up, so lesser situations were always elevated to bigger situations. This deterred others from making healthy connections with me. I had to learn from years of mistakes, without any guidance because of the broken household I lived in. Growing up, it felt like there were wars going on all around me, but everything has changed now and I am a stronger person, though I have become accustomed to having a lot of personal space.

          I am in a much better place than I was when I was growing up, but I still have mountains to climb and seas to cross before I am at the place where I feel satisfied with myself. I shall endure and continue, for that is all I can do right now.
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          Apr 6 2013: Derek and Greg,
          Do you think/feel it is possible to be content/satisfied where you are at the moment, and still look toward climbing the mountains and crossing the seas?

          When I was young, I thougjht that at a certin time in my life (20s maybe) things would be "better". I got to that time and place in the life adventure, and realized that it wasn't as I planned.......OK.....re-evaluate.....when I'm 30 or 35.....that's when everything will be ok!
          OOPS.....there were STILL challenges.......ok.....when I'm in my 40's......that's when life will be the BEST!!! I was 42-43 when I was ending 24 years of marriage...diagnosed with cancer and sustained a near fatal head injury.....or CRAP....not what I expected!

          I was talking with a friend one day.....a friend with whom I shared lots of "stuff", and we were pondering.....now in our 50's, we decided that life is an ongoing exploration....hills and valleys....road blocks and challenges....beauty, joy and love!

          I have read this a million times to remind myself....
          "Out of its abysses, unpredictable life emerges, with a never-ending procession of miracles, crises, healing, and growth. When I realize this once again, I see the absurdity of my belief that I can understand, predict and control life. All I can really do is go along for the ride, with as much consciousness and love as I can muster in the moment".
          (Molly Young Brown)
  • Mar 27 2013: I have to say I often take those granted in my daily life:my parents' love,sometimes when I cooked food not tasty,they nagged to me and I didn't admit myself not use my heart to cook food.when I reflected myself,I felt I was wrong.It reminds me to use 100 percent my heart to cook for parents.my child's love:when she was angry and said:I don't like you mom.I felt angry too:my honey's love,i always like to expect love as much as I want from him.I need to reflect myself often to ask myself:how much do u want?I learn to remind myself often.
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    Mar 25 2013: .
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    What I take granted is that:

    (1) Our life goal is to keep our DNA alive.
    (2) Happiness (valid) is the short-time feeling of things being a-step-better for the life goal.

    So, no matter how small the size of the “step” may be, it makes me feel happy, “purposeful, beautiful, meaningful”, just like enjoying meals, drinking, ... everyday.
    E.g. do something for my children, family, relatives, friends, community, ... whole humankind. (in decreasing order of DNA identity)