The Good Life


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   by Edward    2 Comments  →

Continuing my last post, what is that good life? Your descriptions may vary, but it seems like the Finnish people got it.

A lot of job opportunities, great pay, grand views from your porch, amazing healthcare, free education, a sustainable living environment, low crime rates, a guaranteed pension, and a sauna in your bathroom. What more could a man want?

I can also add that I don’t see those things only in Finland, but in the cities I visited on my Europe trip this time: Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Delft, Luxembourg, Antwerp, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Kihnio, Vienna, Lindz, and Passau.

Why the question now?

Well, like any good transportation system and clean tap water deprived man from Jakarta walking around in the developed cities of Europe, as I strolled the streets, got into the metros, shopped for groceries, sat on the park benches, and waited for the fishing lure to yank, I was constantly playing make believe that I was one the people living here, and then asked myself the question: Is this the good life?

I can hear the answer loud and clear.

No.

For me, the good life is about life with a purpose pursued passionately, with playful pleasurable pauses. Six Ps.

I often said that some of the most happiest people on the planet are the volunteers doing AIDS reliefs in Africa, the activists for kids disabled by landmines in Myanmar, and the missionaries deep in the Borneo jungles. Why? Because they’re willing to let go the comforts of a ‘normal’ life for a shot of changing the world through a cause they’re passionately believe in. People could be living in the harshest conditions but be happy and fulfilled. And people could live in the most lavish and comfortable surroundings but but totally miserable.

Nobody could give his best while tired, bored and overworked. Pauses and times to reflect are essential. So plan them, save for them. Get some fresh air, clear your mind, fill up your tanks. After that, get back to your world and give it another of your best shot.

If you are planning and saving for the holidays only, working your hardest so you could afford that trip to Florence, then my friend, you are doing it backwards.

You don’t fight for the breaks, but breaks make your best for the fights.

The good life is never meant about leisure only, where we visit sexy, exotic cities to death with our first class tickets. Almost all people I met had this dream: ‘Travel the world’. But if you’re not writing a book or doing photography projects or any other purpose that require ‘travel the world’, ‘travel the world’ by itself would be boring and mundane. I’ve been there. European cities and small towns and mountains looks a lot more similiar after two weeks.

So, getting back to my answer: No. I have a life and passions to pursue in another part of the world right now.

But if all that matters to me are good transportation system and drinkable tap water, I might have another answer. But I doubt it.

Well, maybe if you throw in the sauna.

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  • Cindy

    Indeed. Life with purpose pursued passionately is, indeed, a good life.

    There is a book by Francis Chan that I’d highly recommend entitled Crazy Love. It talks about the core purpose of all of us — eye opening, truth revealing, and most importantly, when read with an open heart, it is life changing.An audio version of the book is recommended, too, since mister Chan has that calming, gentle voice :)

    • http://www.edwardsuhadi.com/blog Edward Suhadi

      Thanks Cindy. I’ll look into it :)