A simple guide to life

Link post

I first made a version of this chart seven years ago today. It’s worth a re-up.

The meaning of this chart is:

  • Everything you do should be justified either by being inherently enjoyable, or by being important for some other purpose. Absolutely minimize activities that satisfy neither of these criteria: things that are neither fun nor important. (This seems obvious, but think of how often it’s violated: online flame wars, doomscrolling and general overconsumption of news, long sob stories about trivial inconveniences, endless stewing over long-ago wrongs, etc.)

  • Spend the vast majority of your time on things that are both enjoyable and important, such as (hopefully) career and family. Some time on chores, taxes, etc. is unavoidable. Some time on games and diversions is fine. But both should be small relative to the big, meaningful, deeply rewarding things.

(And just to anticipate one reaction: if you enjoy arguments on the Internet, then they can go under “fun and games”.)

It’s not a complete guide to life, but it’s important and something I apply often.