The Difficulty of Being Good: How We Measure Our Life

This article discusses the intricacies of living a good life. The author says that it can be difficult to discipline oneself but with the right tactics and measurement it can definitely be achieved. The article also talks about a self sustaining lifestyle and the advantages and disadvantages of it.

The word self-improvement is often self-explanatory while in specific terms it means the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by ones’ own efforts. The first step towards self-improvement in life is self-awareness and improving habits but how do we improve the habits if we do not keep a track about whether the habits we adopt are good or bad. In simple words, if we do not measure our areas which are important to us it will be difficult for us to come down to a conclusion. Our lives are surrounded by the things we spend our time at and measuring them helps us to know exactly where are we spending our time and is it for the good or the bad. Let us discuss the difficulty of being good.

When we get into the gym, we see people doing various exercises and hoping on some after that wind up on the treadmill for reasons unknown. When we see these people, the routine will somewhat look loose and discipline lacking but they are actually doing productive things which may seem a bit abrupt to us. The primary thought behind doing anything is to gauge the advance we make. One major mix-up individuals make in the gym as well as in each part of life, is that they don’t quantify the advance or destruction at all. We as a whole have an area in life which are essential however we are not estimating.

Measuring is the key to the balance in our life. When I say I am measuring things it may be easy for us to gauge as to if we are making progress or just running fool’s errands.

While we would talk about 4 aspects of how the measuring is an important step we are missing in our daily life. But first, let me talk about the 3 simple step to stick to the good habit.

  1. The habit should be an easy one which you find easy to follow.
  2. The habit should need improvement which is not too large but step by step improvement.
  3. Even if you increase the habit, the habit should remain easy.
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If I have to explain the above 3 step in term of an example I would take a push up.

  1. I started a habit of push-ups, 10 each day (Rule 1)
  2. I increase the number of push-ups by 1 each day so I did 11 the next day (Rule 2)
  3. After 11 days I was able to do 21 push ups with the same ease as I was able to do the 1st day (Rule3)

These 3 rule and steps are the building stones of a good habit and after a habit has been building the next and last step is the “Measurement” as to the fact that is this habit doing anything good or bad, is the habit leading to forward or stable or backward. The evaluation and estimation process is the one necessary step.

Measuring leads to Improvement

It is only through tracking and measuring that we have an idea of where our habits are leading us. Suppose I did work out every day and do not measure the progress how would I know if I am benefitted by it or not. Let’s suppose I built a habit of reading every day but I started with 20 pages per day and does not keep a track on the number of pages I read. The habit needs to be measured and consistently followed. However, there is a difficulty of being good.

Importance of Awareness

The main idea behind the process of measuring and estimation of the habits is not only progress but also the importance of awareness. The Individual should be aware of the things he is following and the consequence of the habit or thing being followed. It develops a sense of responsibility towards yourself and the art of being informed is the greatest virtue a person can possess. Being informed about the person himself helps the individual to understand his strengths and weaknesses better.

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Not everything can be measured

This can be a critique of the very process of measuring that not everything is measurable, so is the difficulty of being good. Let us say a few things, for example, love, values, and morality are not measurable. Also if we take an example of the job we are employed at, if we begin measuring every day the likeliness of the employment, it may, however, reduce the level of satisfaction we get out of it. So the gist is that measuring is not the ultimate answer to everything and won’t solve everything. But that does not mean the art of measuring loses its importance. The following words explain the need very precisely.

“So when Yudhishthira tells Draupadi that eventually, human acts do bear fruit, even though the fruit is invisible, one might interpret ‘fruit’ to mean the building of character or difficulty of being good through repeated actions. Yudhishthira was certainly aware that repeated actions had a way of changing one’s inclinations to act in a certain way. That inclination is the character.”
― Gurcharan Das, The Difficulty of Being Good

So even if the fruits are invisible there is always some consequence or the fruits which every act somehow produces and the fruits could be a good or bad one. The ascertainment of the character of the fruits it is important to measure and estimate the worth of the fruit.

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