This week, I want to talk about the importance of pursuing actions that produce sustainable and positive consequences. Additionally, I want to provide examples of sustainability at work as well as how to achieve a stable life for yourself.
Why Is Sustainability Crucial To Your Happiness?
An idea, action, or object is sustainable when it has durability and can maintain consistent progress. A sustainable idea, for example, is one that can stand the test of time and is universal regardless of culture or situation, e.g., murder is wrong.
As individuals, we have to live sustainable lives that do not falter under attack and can withstand the harshness of reality. When we pursue sustainability, we create a life focused on the long-term which creates peace of mind and pride in our forward thinking and preparedness.
For example, if you pursue financial sustainability you will avoid wasting money in the here and now at the expense of putting money in the bank. By pursuing financial stability, you’ll have a steady source of income that goes towards investing into building the life you want.
A sustainable life is preparing you for the worst that life has to offer. Life is difficult, despite our historically easy times. Thus it pays to build a life that is sustainable, strong, and forward-thinking.
How Do You Achieve A Sustainable, Rich, and Prosperous Life?
Sustainability takes the form of finance, community, health, and skills. By cultivating sustainability in these aspects of your life, you’ll have the fortitude to withstand difficult moments as well as the persistence to move forward.
Through financial health, we ask if our purchases and investments are financially responsible. Through communal sustainability, we ask if the people we know and live near are helping us pursue virtue and if we are helping them do the same. Through health sustainability, we ask if our current habits will help us live meaningful and healthy lives. Through skills sustainability, we ask if our skills and current skill growth will provide the success we need to live better lives.
Only the individual can ensure stability. The collective struggles with durability for two reasons. Firstly, most Western civilizations are trillions of dollars in debt, suffering from significant health issues, and disconnected as a community. As always, we cannot turn to the collective for answers to complex problems.
Secondly, a society is only as healthy as its individuals. If individuals within a country are all in debt, then the country is in debt. If all the individuals are making poor health decisions, then the country is unhealthy. We cannot escape that individuals must make choices that improve their well-being and satisfaction for the collective to be stable. We cannot have a beautiful forest if all the trees are dead.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at the ways you can achieve stability in your life.
Financial Sustainability: The Art of Making Your Money Serve You
Financial sustainability is two things: 1) having the money necessary to withstand terrible moments and 2) having the money needed to invest in yourself and your future. Without a financial buffer, it can become effortless to fall prey to the unfortunate events life continually presents. For example, if you have a few thousand dollars in the bank then car troubles, minor or major, may annoy but they won’t cause fear. You have the money to deal with the issue and resolve it, thus freeing you from having to stress about or ignore obvious car problems.
Financial sustainability starts with a simple adage: spend less money then you make. All of your excess money can be placed in the bank or used to pay off any loans that you may have. Once your debts are paid, you’ll have more money to save as well as invest.
Financial stability creates peace of mind as well as the resources needed to invest in your future. Avoid wasting your money on knick-knacks and temporary pleasures. Seek to keep as much money as you can firmly in your pocket so you can develop better financial potential.
Some parting questions to consider:
- Are you making the best financial decisions? i.e., are you spending less money than you make? If no, then why not?
- Are you paying off your debts? If no, then why not?
- Do you have a budget? If not, then make one. Having a budget will help you understand where your money is going.
- Are you properly investing in yourself, including your retirement and any future upsets? If not, then when would you like to?
Communal Sustainability: Finding People Who Make You Better
We are social creatures, thus we need community. However, we should always seek to build our community with like-minded people who share our values and beliefs. Additionally, the people we associate with should push us towards virtue, and we should do the same for them.
Never accept a community arbitrarily. Individuals are consistently lied to that their racial, economic, political, gender, or other arbitrary groups are the only groups you can accept. This simply isn’t the case. You should always pursue virtue and find others who wish to pursue virtue as well. Our goal should never be to associate with others simply because it’s easy and automatic.
Find people who are reliable. Other individuals should be responsible and seeking to improve their lives and the lives of others. No one is perfect. However, there is a big difference between a potential friend who has bouts of laziness and a person who never gets his finances together, is always mooching of his buddies, and makes no effort to improve himself.
Find a community you can grow with, and you’ll achieve sustainability in the realm of friends and neighbors. Some parting questions to consider:
- What are the elements you wish to see in a friend? Loyalty? Intelligence? Now, look at yourself. Do you also possess these elements?
- Are you meeting and becoming friends with virtuous people?
- Do you have people in your life who are actively against your improvement? Why are you associating with them?
- Are you investing in others and helping them grow so they can help you do the same?
- Are you investing your time, energy, and resources into helping your broader community?
- Are you avoiding the ungrateful, uninspired, and unmotivated?
Health Sustainability: Building A Body That Will Carry You To Greatness
Your mind is powerful but having a sound body will make you even stronger. Your physical health will help you develop better thinking as well as improve your overall capacity to achieve your goals. Thus, it’s worthwhile to invest in sustainable habits that will create the best health possible.
Without good health, your mind will deteriorate, and you will experience constant struggles. For example, eating crappy food will always clog your mind and prevent critical engagement because your mind is feeding off subpar nutrients. Similarly, avoiding sleep will leave you in a loopy state where you’re not thinking as clearly as you could.
Never Ignore Your Physical Needs
You take good care of your physical body by investing in healthy food, sufficient exercise, and great sleep. Without these three elements, it becomes impossible to build physicality that can carry the weight of your dreams and ambitions.
Take some time to look up meal plans and schedule time for the gym. Try to sleep at least seven hours a day and if you have insomnia, find the best doctors to help you address any underlining issues.
Some questions to consider about your health:
- Do you work out at least every three days? If you’re having trouble getting to the gym, there are exercises you can do that don’t require a gym membership.
- Are you eating healthy? Multiple sources can help you create a meal plan.
- Are you getting at least seven hours of sleep? If you have insomnia, you’ll need to invest in finding medical help to resolve any mental issues.
Skill Sustainability: Learning The Skills Needed To Excel At All Your Goals
Our skills are the tools that we use to achieve the goals that we set. Without talents, the individual cannot move forward, earn resources, or reach peace of mind. There is dignity in work, and through learning, we expand our abilities to produce amazing things for personal pleasure and economic gains.
We should all have life goals. An understanding of what we wish to do with our lives will provide us with the opportunity to better comprehend the skills we need to develop. For example, if you want to be a master farmer, then you’ll need to improve your understanding of farming which includes knowing crop rotation, proper maintenance of crops, seasonal changes, and so on. If you don’t develop your farming skills, you can’t become a master farmer.
Another example: if you want to become a more charitable person, you need to develop some skill. Say you want to utilize your excess income and give it to others. You’ll need to be productive enough to have surplus income, thus you need profitable skills. Or, if you wanted to be a monk, you’d still need skills such as compassion, patience, and similar skills because emotional control is a practiced ability that even the most advanced people struggle with.
Skill Growth and Planning For the Future
It’s important to think critically about where you want to be as well as how your skills and abilities will serve you. Never let your time go to waste and never let yourself stagnate. You have to keep learning to live an enriched life full of choices, potential, and possibilities. Therefore, consider the following questions when thinking about your future:
- Are the skills you are developing going to help you achieve your long-term and life goals?
- Are you developing any secondary skills that will make your life easier and more pleasant in the long-term?
- What passive skills are you developing? For example, patience is a passive skill.
- Do your skills provide you with much needed financial potential? Don’t spend all your time learning underwater basket weaving; throw in a talent that people will pay you for.
- Reflect on how much better your life would be if you had a choice of where you worked. Better yet, imagine how much better your life would be if you made more money. Is that not worth fighting for? What comforts would you have to give up to learn more skills and live a more abundant life?
The Art Of Sustainability Requires Commitment to Excellence
I want to conclude by reiterating that you can’t follow the masses. Never look at civilization as a way of determining what is and is not sustainable. Sustainability is important because it’s a personal endeavor that only the individual can master. Look at yourself, your dreams, and how much work you’re willing to put in.
Humble yourself and never live a lie based on what you think others want you to be. For example, you don’t need to go into debt to buy a car to impress somebody at the stop light for a few seconds. Save that money and purchase a gym membership instead.
Lastly, keep track of what you’re doing. Always journal and keep a rough estimate of the time and money you spend on a variety of things. Never let any of your resources escape from you – always have a place for everything.
Sustainability is important. When your actions and decisions are sustainable and reach forward in time, you ensure your future is bright. Don’t steal from your future, instead invest in yourself and you’ll live a peaceful and happy existence.
In a Become an Individual first, I’ve placed all the actionables at the end of each section for easier reading and categorizing. Obviously, start at the places where you are you’re weakest. For example, if you’re great with money but have poor health, start with the actionables under health.
Additionally, read the links I’ve provided. I try to offer as much outside knowledge and expertise as possible, even if I don’t fully agree with the source. It’s important to expand your mind and continue to seek assistance from individuals who will lead you to a better life.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.