After a walk in the congenial company of my brother, I’ve digested the culmination of the past few weeks’ thinking and decided that this would be an excellent time to write a first post.
It seems like sex, art and travel more or less summarizes what our age group really strived for ever since the 1960’s. The above three are for us sources of inspiration, and all three are in many ways interconnected.
Note that by sex, lust and untamed passion aside, I also mean love and relationships and all of that nice and fuzzy stuff. By art I mean art in all of its forms, including music, literature and so forth. And travel, both local and international, is in essence a state of mind to me.
Creativity is a virtue from which many draw their happiness, most often through various forms of art. A local music artist I’ve met recently told me “life is about those high moments”, referring to moments of rapture he experienced in live performances. I would guess that everyone experiences these moments in different ways and in different circumstances, and many may have only had a few of them in their lifetime. It would be appropriate to call these lifegasms.
Happiness comes from within, it is innate. I remember a yoga teacher in school telling me that if you aren’t happy where you are now with what you have now, you won’t be happy in 20 years, however successful you are.
When it comes to measuring success, some may settle with less, some may never settle at all. It is important to note that one can chose to be happy with what he has, or chose to be happy and still strive for more. I strive for more, and then I strive some more. It is the feeling of accomplishment that is most rewarding, not so much for the pride it entices, but for the sense of movement and direction it creates.
I find that we often do the right things for the wrong reasons. The drives and interests we get are not a true desire to realize inner potential, but a longing for belonging or recognition from others. This is when being honest with oneself becomes crucial.
From a scientific point of view, we can draw a parallel with Maslow’s pyramid of needs where belonging and esteem needs are sequential steps to self-actualization after physical and safety needs. Similarly, our reasons for doing the things we do can change, ultimately doing them to fulfill this inner potential.
Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs
When you do something for no one but yourself, and for nothing but the sheer pleasure of doing it, is when you can really indulge yourself completely in the task and excel at it. It is to no surprise that the greatest works of art were not made for profit, and that the masters who created them had such intricate, evolved personalities.
One of the greatest challenges is finding that passion, that drive. Some will settle without, others will travel to look for it, but fail to find it time and again. We’re afraid of jumping in the wrong direction, it never seems just right. But it will never be right, something has to give.
It’s simple physics; the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that “systems become increasingly disordered.” You need to let some comfort go for a new endeavor to succeed. It is a matter of finding a balance in the imbalance, to learn to drift on the tradeoffs. It will never be the perfect time to take off and get away, and hence there isn’t a better time than right now.
So then, what now? We’re only left to seize every opportunity that arises, dream big dreams and roister every day in the most prodigal ways. Live life, live now, live hard.