Most people believe in the notion that we must live the life that society has prescribed for us.
If you stray off of that path, you are ridiculed, labeled an outsider, and isolated.
So, you go through the motions.
You go to school, get a job, get married, and have kids. You may have settled in your relationship, and in your career, but you’re getting praise from others. You must be doing something correct. Right?
You get the mortgage, the pension plan and the house, yet something is still missing.
We all have been told that life is a race, and so we are always looking to the future. We have forgotten how to be present in the moment.
Life just comes and goes, and it wasn’t exactly good. But hey, it wasn’t terrible, right?
In this race to the finish, we’ve forgotten to live. In reality, the only thing we are racing towards is death.
When most of us finally wake up from this illusion that has been created for us, it is on our death beds. Or maybe it is because we are ill from a disease that has been caused by living an unhappy life, a life full of self-induced stress and anxiety. We realize that we didn’t accomplish our dreams. We listened to the people who scolded us and said “Be realistic.” We stopped evolving, growing, and learning.
Most of all, we forgot what a beautiful, magical, experience it is to simply be alive.
There is Only NOW
I want to shake people sometimes. Shake some fire into them. Make them see that “You only live once” isn’t some dumb cliché. This moment is literally all we have. The only moment that matters is now.
I want to celebrate being madly, wildly, in love with my life. I want to sleep under the stars, drink in the air, feel every part of my body alive with sensation. This means more to me than money ever could.
I’ll admit, I am far from perfect. I have realized recently that I have spent way too much time on wondering how others perceive me, when in reality, none of that matters in the slightest. Being concerned with what others think is the biggest obstacle you will have to defeat before you can live your truth. Even someone that has a perfect Instagram, and seems to be doing amazing things, could really not be fully living. If you are awake, it won’t matter where in the world you are or if you are in a five-star hotel or a shit apartment. A person that is awake sees the beauty in everything, and everyone.
“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way. –Alan Watts
Choose MUST Over SHOULD
Think about what it is you like to do. Think about what dominates the majority of your thoughts. What gives you joy? What makes you feel purposeful? What makes you come alive?
For me, traveling and social activism give me that feeling of pure, unadulterated purpose. Nothing gives me more joy than creating positive change in the world.
I’m not implying that it’s easy to say “Fuck it” and follow your dreams. In doing so, you are combating years of social conditioning. It is a very courageous thing to choose to come alive and realize that you don’t want to succumb to this myth that we must acquire more shit to be happy and succesful. I’m not saying that it will happen overnight, or that things will pan out exactly as you thought. But, you must try. There is no other choice.
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” – Charles Bukowski
Live Your Truth
The trick is to not ask yourself what the world needs, or what you should be doing. The only thing that you have to do is wake up. The world needs more people who have become alive. When we alleviate our own internal suffering, then we are able to change the world. If you choose to do what you love, the rest will follow.
Recognize that everyone has a different truth. You cannot find your own by emulating someone else. That’s a fucking cop-out. Some people find that feeling of purpose in art, in music, or even in something much simpler. The only person who really knows what your truth is, is you.
So, what do you need to do? Meditate on it. Do things that inspire you. Stop numbing your brain with junk reality television and redundant hours spent stressing over the future. Plans for the future are pointless if you cannot be fully present right now.
Wake up. Breathe. Love your life, and yourself. When you become happy and filled with purpose, the rest will follow.
Go fucking live.