We have a need and an obligation to ourselves to pursue a life which will not be disappointing to us.
To take up the mantle of living deliberately, and in doing so assuming responsibility for our choices, is the only manner in which a fulfilling life may be crafted.
Without the deliberate actions which result from considered thought and conscious choice, we fail to reach our potential – or even to know the extent of it.
"looking out the window" by Anthony Kelly
It may be tempting at this point to adopt a nihilistic “why should we care?” approach – if we will only disappoint ourselves, does it matter whether or not we live deliberately? I contend that it does – indeed much more so than if this obligation were to others.
It is not merely to avoid disappointment that we ought to consciously decide upon our actions. The ability to choose our actions is our greatest source of hope. It propels us forward. It moves us on. It promises what we could be, rather than reducing us to what we were. We must act deliberately because we have the liberty to do so. Our having a choice compels us to choose.
"GirlOnRail_BKGs_BartaIV" by Barta IV
We can and do grow as people. Our continued existence suggests to us that we are never ‘finished’ in the project of self-creation; even if I run every day I must run tomorrow in order to still be a person who runs every day. As long as time passes we must continue to fashion ourselves over and over in order to be ourselves in that next moment. Otherwise we will not be the same self; we will be the person who used to run every day, and did not today.
This continued present in which we live is an ongoing present, and a series of being in the same place which is also different from the place it was before. Our possibility and our authenticity lie in what we do from one moment to the next; by our free acts, we are created.
"Thoughtful Walker" by Michael Coghlan
Young, Distraction: A philosopher's guide to being free, 11; Braman, Meaning and Authenticity, 56.
Guignon, On Being Authentic, 128.
Braman, Meaning and Authenticity, 56.