“I’ve always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I can’t afford it. What these people can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the demands of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine and before we know it our lives are gone…
…The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim while they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience.
Before we sense it, the tomb is sealed.” -Sterling Hayden, Wanderer
Nov 7, 2011
If there’s one thing that I’ve never understood, it’s people who lack motivation. I’m sure you know the type. To be honest, they really bug me, and there’s really few things that bug me these days. I just can’t understand why some people choose to wallow in apathy, or are just plain lazy; seem to lack the spark that we should bring to each day.
Maybe it’s partly due to a narrow vision, a smaller view of the world, an isolation from the bigger picture?… I’m really not sure what. Guess that’s why it’s something I just never understood.
I was lucky that my upbringing exposed me to about as broad a horizon as one could’ve hoped for. Doubly lucky to have a background in high level sport, which weeds out the softies and surrounds one with those who display some of the highest examples of strengths of character. Like many of my former swimming peers, I’m still making the slow transition from a full-time athlete to something else; and I see the same thing in my friends and former teammates. Taking their drive and energies and pouring them into that which comes next: projects, businesses, careers, social and philanthropic endeavours, trips about the globe. They can’t sit still, and neither can I.
These backgrounds combined with increasing travel and exposure to different places and peoples has broadened my views of what is possible to the point where I laugh when I see others unable to see past their current state, bemoaning their current situations. They are the masons of their own walls, built upon the mortar of their self-restricting beliefs.
We are in such a unique point in humanity. Anyone who is reading this now is amongst the luckiest of people that ever lived I reckon. We are now able to transcend time and space like never before. We can instantly travel to far off lands. We can project our voice to almost any location on planet earth. We can learn and educate ourselves with about as much information as our mind can handle. Modern transport, the internet, photos, movies and media of all types, the archiving of history, an abundance of food (in the developed world), the increasing exposure to the frothy soup of ideas that is the inter-webs. It’s all there, things that were never imaginable a few generations ago. What were once luxuries, impossibilities, that might not’ve made it past fantasies and daydreams, we can create in RL (real life) with these tools at our disposal. We have the luck and benefit of the wisdom of great thinkers packaged for us (TV, docs, books, videos…). We can go and watch the wise, the motivating, the mind-expanding at the click of a button. We can travel back in time to watch them, hear them, read their words, see them. We can study history and learn from the past like never before. Of great mistakes, of wars and follies of past societies, from long ago to the very recent. We are so so lucky and it’s something that’s difficult to really gain a perspective on, or appreciation of because we’ve grown up amongst it all.
When I slow down, the learning of history will likely become a growing component of my life. Age and an ever expanding view have only served to increase my appreciation for where we sit at this moment. Maybe it just isn’t possible to fully appreciate these things until we begin to get older and amass a greater range of experiences, sights, lessons and stories in our brain.
“This is your life. You have complete freedom. We live in an era where the world is more accessible than ever. You’re not a slave or a peon or a prisoner. You can do WHATEVER you want. So why aren’t you doing exactly what you love? Money, fear, indecision, lack of knowledge, girlfriend/boyfriend and “I’m content” are not answers to that question.” -Jordan Lejuwaan, Wake the F**k Up!
We all have dreams. What do you want to do with your life? What have you always imagined yourself doing one day? Seeing? Experiencing with others? What do you see when you let your mind wander to that which it wants? You have to ask yourself, for how long are you willing to let your life slip by before doing these things? A year? Till you’re done school? Till you have a job? Till you’ve made the down payment on your house? Till you’ve done the renos? Till you have a certain amount saved? What if your situation changes? Something else comes up? You meet someone? Your priorities change, you loose health, have a kid, or whatever whatever. How long are you willing to wait? How much time will you let slip past? Because each passing day buries your life a little bit more. Each time you lay your weary body down at the end of the day, the likelihood of you achieving and experiencing that which you were meant to decreases. Beware ye of the buried life! That’s not an alarm bell that wakes you every morning. It’s a death knoll. Seek not to know for whom the bell tolls, as it’s right there on your fucking nightstand and it’s ringing shrill and loud for thee.
I distinctly remember reading an article a long, long time ago. It was about a man who engineered and manned single-man submersibles (like mini submarines), free-dove and explored successfully for sunken treasures in the environs of the Carribean. He had done quite a bit of what one might consider exciting, pioneering and/or dangerous. It seemed to the interviewer that nothing fazed this guy, and finally he felt compelled to ask “Is there anything that scares you?”. The guy pulls out a worn, folded piece of paper. On it were 100 rows with 52 squares per row. The little squares were filled in individually over the years with all manner of pens. The guy explained that each square represented a week, each row one year. “I carry this with me everywhere. Every week I colour one square in… I can see my entire life before me.” He wasn’t scared of dying. He was scared of not living, and used this to remind himself to never loose that fear.
There are fewer limits on us now than ever afore. There is no roof but the open sky, no walls unless you let yourself believe in such things. So don’t. Be stoked. Be energetic. Be motivated. Believe your imagination. If not for you, then we all owe it to those souls, both current and past, to take advantage of all that we have and that they didn’t and don’t.
www.thequestforwindandwaves.com I really respect this guy, what a rad story…