Nobel blogged awhile ago about about his idea of an ideal life, which is to be a yoga bum, ie. get paid big bucks to practice yoga every day and to blog about his yoga practice. Now, Nobel, do you want some third party to pay you to live life however you want, or do you wish you were born into a rich family so you can be a yoga bum, or do you wish you married someone with a massive bank account, or win the lottery, or obtain a large sum of money by some other means (eg. find a bag on the street containing $10 million)? I kind of assumed that you were wishing for the first option, ie. somehow someone out there would consider your yoga practice as beneficial to the world and pay you money for doing it. Hmm.. I don't know about $100,000/year, but for countries with universal health care, I think governments should encourage people to choose a healthy living, which would minimize the overall cost of medical care budget, by providing incentives such as bonus cash for those who do eat healthily and do yoga (and other forms of exercises in general). Yah I know, wishful thinking (but not completely impossible).
I joked that my dream life is to play dress up every day, party lots, and occasionally do charity work, you know, the Princess Di, Duchess Katherine, or Paris Hilton life (Paris actually does get paid to show up at various clubs to party). Nobel pointed out that my concept of a "bum" life is "interesting". I got a bit confused there, and then I looked up the definition of a bum: person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer;idler. Hmm, I guess I am too chicken to be a bum forever, because I'm paranoid that the world would progress and I would fall behind. I've been an obsessive compulsive knowledge / skills acquisition freak all of my life. I'll read almost anything that's in print. Every time I try a recreational activity I dream about becoming extremely proficient at it. I practice yoga as if the teacher's going to beat me with a cane if I don't try my hardest. I feel like if I don't push myself to my limits, I'm not living up to my life's full potential, and somebody will be disappointed in me.
So now you know my greedy desire for wanting to acquire all possible skills that humans can do and all knowledge of human beings (like in the movie trilogy "The Matrix" where I can upload all of Google's databases and all encyclopedias ever written into my head). Does this make me weird? I think the typical dreams of people are to become billionaires, own multiple servants and a giant mansion, luxury cars, fancy yacht, and travel the world on their personal cruise ship while being served with gourmet French cuisine, or something along that line. My biggest desire is to acquire skills? I gotta step back and do some self-psychoanalysis here.. does this suggest that I'm deeply insecure about my intellectual worth?
I guess we're generally seeking to live a long and healthy life, feel safe and secure, satisfy our senses, feel a sense of control (of ourselves and of the environment around us), connect with other beings (but at the same we like to be better than other people, Darwin's theory at work on Earth), and of course to satisfy our endless miscellaneous arbitrary desires. An ideal life would be to become better than everyone else, have everybody adore and admire you, and have all your endless desires satisfied one after another. Sorry I'm not very poetic about it. I started writing a list of things I wanted: travel, a sexy, smart, understanding and loving life partner, charity projects I want to do, pet science projects I want to do, and then I realized the list could go on and on forever, because of my insatiable greediness :P The bottom line is, being a bum forever is not an ideal life for me. Maybe my dream life is to become Superwoman, but without having the responsibility to solve every problem in the world. I would only work on the problems I'm interested in. Hmm.. so a selfish Superwoman then :D
I think my ideal life is to have endless possibilities in what I can do, and to have the freedom to choose to do a subset of them, with minimal troubles and obstacles. I think I've got the first 2 parts down, which makes me a very lucky person. The skill acquisition part I guess is my attempt to be able to deal with these troubles and obstacles. I should also add that I am working towards feeling comfortable about occasionally being a bum. The practice of yoga aids with achieving equanimity, which means I better keep doing it then!
What about you? What is your dream life? Can you narrow it down to a few specific things that you absolutely must have, or are you like me, greedily wanting to keep all possibilities open but have the freedom to choose what you want? Or would you want to be a bum (in a fancy palace of course)? :)