Apparently Socrates once said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” What did he mean by this?
For me, the above statement is about mindfulness and how it can transform a life of mindless automation into one of purposeful self-reflection and forward momentum.
Recently, I’ve become acutely aware that the unexamined life is a life not worth living and right at this very moment my life is something that I want to actively reflecting on and be mindful of, rather than allow to cruise on auto-pilot.
This is something I want to do because…
- I want to slow down, simplify things and “smell the roses”
- I want to regain some sort of work/life/creativity balance for myself
- I want to have a more calm and stress-free life
- I want to become a better songwriter through active self-reflection
- I don’t want to remember my life as being a beige coloured blur
In my earlier post titled My Break From Live Performance – Eight Months In, I mentioned that one of the things I rediscovered during my break was a personal path which was primarily focussed on the study of Buddhist teachings (without the religious connotations), meditation and mindfulness.
It was the mindfulness component of this path that lead me to the realise the consequences of an unexamined life and it’s the reason this post exists… As a reinforcement of that fact.
Personally, one of the best ways I can think of to examine and mindfully contemplate my life is to write about it either privately in my journal or, publicly through this blog.
Musically, as a songwriter and musician, I feel that the most important thing I could be doing for my craft is writing, listening, contemplating, daydreaming and generally being aware of my thoughts, feelings and how I interact with my surroundings.
Writing does that for me. When I don’t write, life becomes really hard.
This path of mindful self-reflection is not going to be an easy one to take as I’ve been living in cruise mode for quite a while, but it’s a path that I must walk if I’m going to be the person I want to be for me, my wife, my family, my friends, my work and for my music because it’s all intertwined and interconnected with one another.
No matter who we are or what we do in our lives, we all want to become the person we want to be and for me writing and self reflection is the way to get there..
As far as I’m concerned, Socrates was right on so many levels.