How to Live a Good Life – Soulful Stories, Surprising science, and Practical Wisdom is a book by Jonathan Fields that is filled with stories about people Jonathan interviewed about what they considered it meant to live a good life.
In the introduction, Fields discusses where the experience of the book began. Fields explains that
it would be many more years until I gave myself permission to own the possibility that somewhere within me lay the ember of a rough-edged ability to affect others. Both the desire and the potential to create moments, experience, and things that might inspire a change in state and belief. To incite possibility.
This is similar to my own walk.
We’ve all been in that place of “fine” and “busy”, disconnected from the people, places, and activities that allow us to work through each day utterly alive. Disconnected from our best selves. We’ve all felt like a piece of us was dying a little bit every day and we just didn’t know how to flip the switch, how to turn our lives back on.
Yep. That was where I had been. I had spent many a night wondering “What is my calling? What am I here to do?” but hearing only silence. Filling each day with “busy” and “fine” but feeling like I wasn’t fulfilling my potential, deeply knowing that I had something to share that only I could share but being unable to figure it out. I grew miserable – and spread it to those around me.
Stepping Away – The Myth of Career
The hardest decision wasn’t stepping away from teaching. The hardest decision was accepting that this wasn’t where I was supposed to be. After more than 20 years, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be here. But if not here, where?
Accepting this fact has allowed me to shed so many embedded myths about life, career, learning, and teaching. I began to rethink the habits in my life and how they shape who I am and what I do. In doing so, the Good Life Buckets that Fields explores in the book have provided me with a starting place for my own life transformations.
The Good Life Buckets
Fields outlines three buckets that each person needs to ensure they fill or their life becomes out of alignment.
Connection Bucket – all about relationships
Contribution Bucket – how you contribute to the world
Vitality Bucket – state of mind and body
Each of these has “levers’ that Fields discusses as “the little things that will fill your buckets most powerfully.”
The book has helped me to reflect on how I view the world around me, the relationships that I have, my habits, and how I perceive my contributions. I have my own 4th bucket, Spiritual Bucket. Although Jonathan Fields includes this with Connection Bucket, I separate the two. Regardless of how you view these areas of your life, choosing to nourish your mind/body/spirit and the connections you have with others and with the world itself are so important.
Really, I’ve just begun this road of discovery but it has changed a great deal of how I view the world around me and the other people who are on this journey.
So what are your buckets?
How do you describe happiness, joy, and fun? What does Living the Good Life mean for you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights about this in the comments or you can contact me on Twitter @kwhobbes. I look forward to hearing from you.