I read an interesting meme on Facebook this week that got me thinking. The quote is from Doctor Who, and it reads:
Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It's not the time that matters, it's the person.
This struck me as poignant, because I, like many other modern males, have recently discovered that I haven't "lived." Not by this definition at any rate.
I'm a big fan of Tim Ferriss' work, and some of his ideas do permeate my to-do list. I also see that there are a lot of women (a LOT) on dating sites who are looking for travel and adventure. And it occurs to me that there is a curious modern mindset that in order to have "lived," one must have lived extensively by experiencing "all that life has to offer."
Here's my problem: what if you don't actually like to travel? What if your personal idea of contentment is actually coming home to a place of comfort, putting on a favourite movie, and kicking back? What if partying on the beaches of Ibiza is so contrary to your personal nature that the thought of it actually makes your guts clench?
There's a disconnect here between ideas of self-acceptance and ideas of life fulfillment Let's assume for a moment that we accept the notion that different people have different barometers for happiness. We can't, therefore, assume that the desire to collect nice things and avoid vagabonding is a kind of failure. Yet memes like this seem to suggest that the object of the game is to get out and live more; "more" having the subtext of "better."
Some people don't like to travel. Some people don't like to attend gala parties. Some people don't like to stay at home on their vacations. Some people don't like to go to bed at 10 p.m.. These are the realities of personal differences, and we have to accept them. Constantly telling people that not living up to a certain level of adventure is a failure of life by some arbitrary measure of someone else's happiness is a recipe for depression.
Guys, you're grown ups. Live how you want to live. If you like adventure, go for it. If you like kicking back at home, go for it.
The Doctor doesn't get to tell you how to live.