What struck me really is that people take life way way to seriously.
I mean, to paraphrase here, none of us are getting out alive! It might been morbid to talk about the fact that we are all going to die, every last one of us but to me this is actually one of the things most people choose to ignore. Not ignore in the sense that it can be quite a depressing thought, but ignore in the fact that I am pretty sure they think that they have two lives, they take their existence for granted. I mean, why spent all your life in that box, 5 out of 7 days a week until you are 60 when you don’t want to be there. I think people forget that that time is your life too, not just the time you spend outside of work. Trudging off every day to waste their lives on something they hate…all for money.
The truth of the matter is that money rules all here. We sacrifice ourselves and ultimately our lives and freedom for it. Now, ok, I know we need money to survive but do we really need to sums of money that are keeping us trapped. The reality is that whether you earn 70,000 a year or 7,000 you still spend those hours of your life working away for basically pointless shit. Over 80% of Americans don’t like their jobs, stressing is killing millions and depression and anxiety are a pandemic of the western world.
Does this make any sense?
People wonder how they can get out, dream of seeing the world, of travelling and being free. But yet allow themselves to become a slave to the system simply because they think they have to. They hate what their live is but make excuses, so many more years and I can retire, I’m not rich enough to travel, but I can’t quit my job after working up to this position…a cage of our own making. We flick ourselves into blind work mode and wish our weeks and years away…but do we ever stop to think that we are just wishing our lives away.
Sometimes I think that we are all just hanging around waiting to die, not really knowing what to do with ourselves so we just sleep walking though live. Ticking off the boxes that we are supposed to: School, job, mortgage, kids, retirement…few years of paranoid “freedom”, ill health, death! I see before my eyes the passion of young people drain out of them in their 20s as “real life” bites hard and that job they got for “a few month” until their dream came along is now a soul destroying career they need to pay the bills.
A few status holidays every year, gadgets, cars on finance and fancy clothes that the growing salary only papers over the cracks of the fact that they have sold themselves short. Sold their dream out for costa coffee every morning, a once in a lifetime Caribbean cruise (where in reality they see nothing), a lump of metal on each finger and a fancy meal each weekend.
What no one tells us is that we don’t need to sell ourselves out for all this money, we don’t even need half of that money to have an amazing life. You could easily work for a few months to travel the rest of the year. But the system is so engrained in us that this surely cannot be true.
Of course, the bird must go out and catch the worm, build their nest, work in the purest sense. But does the bird stay there all day picking up worm after worm, building nest after nest once they have finished what they need? Or do they stop at what they need to survive and fly free for the rest of the day?
“Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro“,
which translated from Latin means “Liberty is not well sold for all the gold”. In other words, all the gold in the world cannot buy my freedom. So why do we insist on selling ours? Why do humans inherently feel the path to happiness lies in money and not in freedom? We confuse the too, we work to live but tell ourselves that it is the other way around. We convince ourselves that in the 9-5 there is such a thing as a work life balance…all the while shelving our passions and our dreams for that very job.
When will humans learn?
It’s not our obligation to graft our lives away for someone else. It isn’t a predesignated path that we have to follow to a life of misery and “putting up”. We don’t need to sell our best years to be vindicated. We can still work, but we can do it on our own terms.
What is the sense in sitting in an office throughout the peak years of your life?
Growing older and older whilst staring at those same 4 walls and that same computer screen. Full of energy and dreams that get beaten down every day by those early mornings, the commute, your bosses insistent complaining, the moaning of your colleagues and clients you have to put on a fake smile for? You sit there, watch your life pass before you marking it only in the holidays and weekend that you wished your life away for.
Retirement eventually at the age of 65…finally you have worked your way to freedom. But now, you are old, your bones ache, your dreams have been forgotten and your energy evaporated. Struck down by cancer at 69, like a few I know, were those 4 years of “freedom” really worth sacrificing your life for. Laying down on your death bed will you think about your boss or the things you really wish you did, the places you wish you had gone too?
Or will you even get to retire? Some have had saving that took them 40 years to build wiped out over night by the financial crisis, chunks of value taken off their houses and that security that they built around them crumble. The age of retirement is creeping up higher and higher each year. What chance does a 20 something even have of eventually retiring in the conventional sense?
Ok, so quitting your job to travel the world is not a one size fits all solution.
But consider this, work towards making a life out of your passions rather than settling into a career you are indifferent about and having to fit a life into your spare time.
You only have one life, so go for broke.
At the end of the day the corporate world will always be here, mortgages and mediocre jobs will be available for you to fall back on. But don’t give in too soon, don’t think that you have made your bed already. Follow your heart, follow your passions. Whether that is travel, climbing, art, skateboarding, football or whatever…most often it’s not going to really be accounting or archiving really is it! Don’t sell yourself out too soon, you are capable of so much more than you think. Little old you…you can have an extra ordinary life if you put all your effort and energy into that…not getting that report finished by Tuesday!
Go out there, push yourself and realise that the safety net you thought was there in the corporate or mainstream world is a lie to keep you trapped! Work in bars here and there, fund your passions but most of all make sure your life is about them and not about the work! Concentrate on what makes you truly happy, in the deepest part of your heart, wear your heart on your sleeves and don’t be afraid to express yourself and be yourself.
The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself and those closest to you…and never settle for second best. So many out there are afraid to do just that, they knowingly avoid their dream because it is too much of an upheaval…they have fallen foul of comfort over happiness. That’s the issue, too many of us think that it is the same thing, only, comfort is easy, it is excuses and laziness. Happiness is being proactive, is doing something scary and pushing yourself!
Happiness is scary, comfort sells…bigger houses, bigger TV’s, take outs, moving to the suburbs, holidays in which we jump from one insulated bubble to another rather than experience real cultural challenges and experiences. Don’t surrender yourself to becoming another docile follower!
This is your life, your time…go do something amazing with it. Get out of that box the world made you think you belong in, stop being jealous and go make those dreams a reality…