I thought this would be a nice little bit to share about myself.
One of the primary reasons why I place such a high importance on living as close to my values/beliefs/ideals is that I want to know that when I die I have lived up to the standards I have set for myself. The urgency to all of this comes from that I do not believe I am immortal or superhuman, as other young adults might believe of themselves. I believe that death and injuries are indeed real things, and as much as I may do to take care of myself, I do not believe everything is in my control. I think there are some things that are within my control, and I try my best to act on those. However, I still think that some accidents and crazy people are beyond my control, and well, simply put, I think I could die for whatever reason at any moment. This kind of perspective makes me appreciate each day I have a bit more, and it also makes me feel more pressed to make sure my life is meaningful by my standards.
What perspectives or beliefs do you hold that make it more important for you to act on your beliefs/thoughts?
Interesting question. I'm not sure what "meaningful" means though. In another thread recently that touched on matters spiritual, I managed to resist the bald statement of my core existential view of things: it is that we are biological computers, running software badly programmed by evolution and chance. The worst software you can imagine, running on meat. Don't complain about how the bear dances; marvel that it dances at all. When the meat fails, we don't even get a blue screen of death, man, just bad smells.
Where this leaves me with regard to values, beliefs, and ideals is in a primarily hedonic stance: the meaning of life is to enjoy it. Because we are social animals, though, there's a hefty component built into "enjoy" that involves "doing for others" and "building a legacy" even if that just means planting nut trees that won't bear until after we are dead. Hedonism isn't necessarily selfish.
I'm fifty years old and I joke with my medical provider that the only cardiac risk factor I don't check off on the list is tobacco use. (There's a reason for my plant based diet even if it's not for everyone; curious folk can Google "Caldwell Esselstyn".) My hedonic stance looks pretty dull from a distance; my notion of pleasure is fairly cerebral and involves a lot of screen time and reading. So a lot of my effort goes into keeping as healthy as I can to maximize the years I'll be able to sit on my butt and stare at a screen or a book, which is really my favorite thing in the world to do. Luckily, the exercise I need to get that helps with that, is directly related to growing the healthy food that also contributes to that effort.
If I don't get hit by a dumptruck first, I shall almost certainly end my days by clutching suddenly at my left shoulder and saying a dirty word before falling over sideways. It's unlikely to take more than twenty years, given my extremely limited access to modern healthcare and regular cardiology consultations, unless something radically changes about the way healthcare is distributed in the USA during that time. (Signs point to "who the fuck knows?")
Meanwhile, I'm having fun. I read stuff, I plant stuff, I hang out with people who seem to love me, I got a big pack of ungrateful dogs who think I am a deficient god who doesn't do enough for them. It's important to me that every day be lived well. I'm batting about .800, I figure.