Are you a yes man or a grump?

We all commit ourselves to people, causes, and ways of life.

Getting married is an obvious commitment. So is taking a job. But we also make commitments when we say we’ll do volunteer work, when we tell ourselves we’ll get in shape starting in the new year, or when we buy expensive ski equipment.

It’s possible to commit to too much. If we say yes to too many things, we’ll end up starting lots of projects, but not finishing them. We will cancel the volunteer work sessions because we’re too busy, or we’ll leave the fancy ski equipment lying around in the basement, unused. This is the “yes man” (or yes woman) mentality. To counter it, we might be tempted to explore minimalism.

It’s equally possible to commit to too little. We don’t support a political cause because “all politicians are liars anyway”. We don’t try to get in shape because life is meaningless, after all. This is the grump mentality. To counter it, we might be tempted to explore spirituality.

Are you more of a yes (wo)man or more of a grump? Would you feel better if you committed to more things, adding layers of meaning to your life? Or would you be happier if you committed to fewer things, creating space?


— Peter

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