Inspiration. Motivation. Mobilisation.
You’re living in a world without limits. Technology is surging on, new jobs are being created and people are seemingly constantly changing life as we know it. Bill Gates dropped out of college, not taking his studies seriously, yet even he went on to become a multi-billionaire creating software used the planet-over.
So what’s stopping you?
Everywhere you look today, be it in the media, education, advertising, you’re told that any one of us can make a difference, go on to make our riches and be remembered and known by all. Well that’s true. But it irritates me.
Today you’re told by so many that with just some hard work and ingenuity you can be ‘great’, to the extent that should you fail this you feel as though you have wasted your entire life and haven’t managed to succeed. Countless people lie on their deathbeds regretting the lives they’ve lived, how they never had the money to travel the world, or didn’t have the time to train enough to make their name in their youthful sport. But the hard fact of the matter is that not everyone can make a difference.
It sounds pessimistic, right? Bear with me.
Glory and riches have been made out to be so readily accessible to every person in society that even those living in relative comfort, with annual holidays and a ready supply of entertainment and luxuries, feel as though they have been somewhat cheated out of the potential higher joys of life. “Life on the other side, eh?”
It’s human nature to constantly want more. You take anyone with even a slight bit of power, and you’ll discover beneath the surface they’re trying everything they can to increase that. We long for promotions. We long for higher pay. We long to drive super cars albeit limited to the same speed restrictions as everyone else. Life is fundamentally the equivalent of teenagers competing to wear the most expensive designer fashion to school to impress their friends.
But this shouldn’t be the case. Why yearn for more when you already have plenty? Why fall into mild depression when you realise your wage never reached higher than £20,000 per annum? If you are constantly looking for more, you’ll never truly appreciate what you have.
I’d like to take here my father as an example. He’s not earning copious amounts a year, nor driving a Mercedes Benz wearing a suit to work. He lives by his means, affording the basic luxuries common to all us westerners but without the extravagance. Yet he is likely the most happy and content man I know. And this is the fact of the matter. He appreciates what he has, and he enjoys his life as it is.
I myself decided to go to University not out of aspirations for fame, wealth and glory, but because I genuinely enjoy learning. I’ve been told throughout my life that a degree will ‘open doors’, allowing me to gain an outstanding job and afford a huge home and a number of needless indulgences. However the truth is this likely won’t be the case. Yes I hope to make as much money as I can and live in some comfort, but ultimately I aspire more so to be content however I end up.
What’s the point of having anything if you don’t stop to appreciate it?
My friend told me the other day how someone she knew had packed up everything and went to live in a shack on a beach, selling homemade bracelets. To most people this would seem almost sad, a young girl barely racking up enough money to live on. Yet I was told she was the happiest she’d ever been, living free and without the stresses of a job, needing only the waves and friends in a simple but inspirationally beautiful being. Of course this cannot last forever, soon this young woman will be drawn into the stormy currents of typical human life, finding a more withstanding job and building a family, whereby she will have others to be responsible for. But I would like to think that having derived from such a simplistic beginning, she will be happy wherever she ends up in life.
So there you have it. You don’t have to change the world, you don’t have to be remembered by millions. All you have to do is enjoy what you have, and love your life for what it is rather than for what it could be.
In the words of Andy Dufresne: ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying!
And most importantly,