I see it every day.
People hurtling through life perfectly miserable due to the choices they have accepted but not made.
They remain in that dead-end job, they accept that bad relationship or they continue to do something which wastes the precious time they have been afforded.
And we make excuses.
I need that job for the money to fund my lifestyle.
I need that relationship because everyone else is in one and I can’t be alone.
But the actuality of that is juxtaposed to the truth. We could accept a less extravagant lifestyle or move somewhere less expensive. It is us that accepts the status quo and decides not to because we think we can make it.
Belief is one thing we as humans don’t lack. We think things, people and situations will change and improve but they rarely do. Hope steals years of your life while altering your expectations for the future.
Once something has been set in motion it will remain so until another force is enacted upon it. Seldom are we the person that imparts that force, we overestimate our influence and others’ reluctance to change.
People only realize the gravitas of this reality too late, when they have been tortured by a lifetime of regret and been abused by other’ self-interest.
If you don’t look after yourself somebody will exploit your selflessness.
We think we spend our youth chasing ideals when in reality we accept the path that is presented to us.
The fact is most of us waste our youth and that’s why we reminisce with such fondness. Looking back, we can paint an alternative reality that we have post-rationalized, construed to showcase the illegitimate lie that we chased our dream.
And we are lying to ourselves. Being young was when we should have taken the most risks, we have the most time and least responsibilities. Instead, we wait for life to happen.
I know because I never and I wish I did. I know that now and I know what I would have done.
Seize the day and all that jazz, but how many people do? How many people would be completely honest with themselves and admit they create little value?
What have you done in the last week, month or even year?
I know I didn’t for the longest time, I couldn’t. I was scared of the facts.
Facing up to it was painful, it hurt more than anything I’ve ever been endured and it was self-inflicted.
Like a gunshot to my ego, I frantically tried to dispel the myths I had constructed to protect myself from my inadequacies, and there were plenty.
I was wasting my one shot at life.
I realized I lacked passion, direction, and commitment.
Everything in life had been easy because it just happened. I hadn’t impacted or controlled anything I could have. I never pursued the things that truly interested and inspired me.
I did the things that I thought would make other people happy, proud of me and what they expected. I began to live the life that was prescribed to me instead of cultivating the conditions for happiness that I craved.
I never felt present, I was always waiting for the next thing to happen and for the future to save me from the now. Instead of living in the moment I was looking back at the past in hope for the future.
It took me the longest time to admit that I wasn’t happy and in many ways, I am still searching for that now.
I took the easy option; I accepted what had been prescribed to me and tried to make the best of a bad situation.
How many times have you been told that?
Why make the best of something that is irreparably broken?
If a ship is sinking you abandon it in hope of survival but in life, we cling on and drown.
And I was drowning.
I never truly worked as hard as I could have because that would have meant I had no excuses. Instead, I embraced the external factors as an explanation for my shortcomings.
My potential was unconstrained but I purposefully sabotaged myself which allowed me to impose limitations. The excuses shielded me from the pain.
And yours is too.
Our potential and what we can achieve is only constrained by a lack of imagination.
We are a product of our surroundings; we see what those around us are achieving and accept that as the absolute most that we can achieve or we put a preeminent figure on a pedestal and accept his limitations as our own.
Instead of blazing a trail, creating a new path and running to the beat of our drum we conform and become stagnant.
We dare not to dream because of the judgment from others and fear of what they may think.
I’m not going to brazenly pedal the same inane garbage which asks what you’d be doing with your life right now if money wasn’t an option.
Instead, I’d ask how honest are you capable of being to yourself?
In life, that is the only truth, you can be honest with yourself or you can lie.
Honesty requires a divorce from the reality we have been conditioned to accept. General consensus and popularity are incompatible.
And social networks shackle you to chase both of those. We don’t showcase the things that are questionable on there; instead, we paint a false reality in hopes of convincing people to the lie we are telling ourselves is real.
I’ve never shared my love for the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, my continued enjoyment of childhood cartoons or that my affection for the sport that defines part of me has diminished and my enjoyment has waned for years because they are unpopular and unbefitting of the expectations others would have of me.
But my propensity to care has diminished.
Instead, I’m pursuing contentment in the hope of finding happiness thereafter.
I’ve forced myself to become mindful of what my high-level goals are and recorded what they are for the short, medium and long term.
This enables transparency, allows me to track progress and hold myself to account.
I know what I need to achieve and for the first time I’m not scared, to be honest about what it includes and the sacrifices it will take.
I realize the journey won’t be easy, the path will be littered with obstacles and how critical it is I begin now.
Life’s short, you can either endure it or experience it.
It all comes down to whether you can be honest enough to see what’s right in front of you.
Life about chances and opportunities, we can either take them or allow them to drift on by.
The only difference is that one allows you to begin living and the other merely allows you to exist.
Be bold, be brave and take chances, you never know where they could lead.