Matt Croasmun suggests that if we—a society in crisis—want to live lives worthy of our humanity, we need to ask the deepest question possible and let it inform our thinking: What is truly worth wanting?
Is what you want really worth wanting? We often settle for procedural and productivity thinking—life hacks, listicles, and tips and tricks that offer the life of your dreams. We max out our search in the shallow water of seeking answers to the questions “what do I want and how can I get it?” But Matt Croasmun (Director of the Life Worth Living Program at Yale College) suggests that if we—a society in crisis—want to live lives worthy of our humanity, we need to ask the deepest question possible and let it inform our thinking: What is truly worth wanting?
- How can I live the life that I want?
- Matt’s former dream of being a musician
- “I was more interested in being famous than in being good”
- Self-formation versus self-obsession
- “Giving up my dream to be a composer is either the most courageous or the most cowardly thing I’ve ever done”
- “The fundamental question is, do I have the right dreams?”
- The worthiness of our dreams
- What path is worthy of my humanity? My life’s devotion?
- "We live answers to the deeper questions, even if we couldn't give you those answers if we were asked point blank.”
- Autopilot versus intuition
- “Whenever we aren't all that reflective about our actions, this is the infamous unexamined life”
- Feeling stuck
- Reflection can actually streamline our daily routines
- Is effectiveness what we’re after?
- “If your ends are bad, then more effective means are hardly the solution”
- “The great lie of 21st century is that the effectiveness question is the most profound question we can ask. The truth is: It’s merely the most profound question we’re able to answer."
- “Some of those means landed men on the moon. I mean, we’re pretty good at it”
- We crave knowledge of the good life
- Do we want a life of ecstatic joy or peaceful serenity?
- Independence or interdependence?
- “Self awareness is a lonely place”
- “The answer sadly is not within; navel gazing is insufficient”
- Accountability to something outside ourselves
- Moana, Disney, and community versus individuality
- “This can be deeply relieving when we've been on this sort of self-help merry-go-round”
- The great wisdom traditions as as sources of knowledge and relevance
- “Act courageously in the world, take risks with our actions, with our lives “
- “It's easy to have so-called courage without any humility”
- What we've learned with our minds needs to be inscribed in our bodies
- Perhaps our practices are actually smarter than some of our best ideas
- Orienting our everyday desires around what we know to be true
- “There are many processes along the way of reforming the heart, reforming our strategies, reforming our habits”