Is there a proper and an improper way to live?
Yes, I propose, and I'll go so far as to say that there is one overarching wrong way to live and one overarching right way to live. Before I tell you what they are let’s hear what some average humans have to say about the subject:
Eleanor Roosevelt: “The purpose of life is to live it… to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
George Bernard Shaw: “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”
William Shakespeare: “This life… is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Oscar Wilde: “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”
Albert Einstein: “There are two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other as though everything is a miracle.”
Johann Wolfgang Goethe: “As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live.”
Helen Keller: “Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
Lao Tzu: “Don't resist… let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Socrates: “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
The way I see it none of the above can make any sense unless you live your life in total surrender to the need to live in the known. Those who convince themselves that around every corner they are in complete knowledge of what lies in front of them, and that they have it all under control, are precisely the ones who never do.
Those who admit uncertainty—and in their uncertainty fervently and relentlessly seek certainty—are the ones who are living properly.
As Alan Watts puts it: “In giving away the control, you’ve got it.”