“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
The title is a quote from Auntie Mame (ala Rosalind Russell), one of my favorite movies of all time. If you’ve never seen it, add it to the queue! The main message of the movie is to LIVE, live, live! Life is for the living, and if we’re not taking advantage of the opportunities afforded us, what’s the point? Work is important, and so is purpose. Money is necessary, that’s a given. But what is life without the balance? What is life without joy? So many people are resentful of their relationships or their jobs or situations because they are too afraid to step outside of the written plan to actually be happy. Happiness is not just for the free spirits, it won’t deter you from the goal! I know so many people who want to be the martyr, to feel like they’ve suffered to find success. It’s ridiculous. Nothing, I tell you again, nothing humbles like losing. It’s not until you have nothing that you realize all that you took for granted.
Life is here for us to choose. It’s the beauty of free will. There are so many morals and values imprinted upon us from the time we’re born that it can really be confusing. We’re never allowed to just be. We’re always expected to produce, whether it’s about learning to walk and talk, or getting into the ivy league school, or throwing a lasso around the fattest paycheck. Expectation upon expectation, and in the end, are any of these really reflective of what WE wanted for ourselves? Or is it a social pressure from parents, peers, and partners?
In thinking about motivation, I’m reminded of a Death Cab lyric “I held my tongue, as she told me, “Son, fear is the heart of love”, so I never looked back.” I love this because I really don’t know when fear came to replace love. So many things we do in life these days are done out of fear; fear of poverty, fear of loss, fear of disappointment. So many negatives it’s hard to see that there is light at the end of this tunnel vision! Where is the motivation to do things for love and passion? It seems like in doing the things that we love, we are looked at as being slackers. The things that people don’t understand are not bad or wrong, they’re just unique! That is what progress is founded upon. That is the basis of technology, and evolution. Don’t be afraid to do shit that people will laugh at, that others will scoff at or brush aside. If more people did what they loved, and were rewarded for not trying to be a carbon copy or a 2.0 of what was already done and experienced, perhaps we would be a lot happier, and even more advanced, as a whole. To be unique is to be persecuted. The old cliche “Only the strong survive” doesn’t only pertain to the bulls forging through the path taking everything they want, it applies to anyone strong enough to stand behind what they believe in. For some reason, the world just doesn’t seem to want to see happiness prevail.
In summation, all I really want to say is, nurture your differences, seize your opportunities! Don’t lose sight of the ‘why’ for the ‘what’. We will never again be within this moment, and will never again have the same doors opened to us. Live your life according to what you really are striving for, not according to what others may expect out of you. Even if you want to help others, you cannot do that if you have no control or focus over your own life. You can’t move ahead while you still willingly wear the shackles of the past. We can’t control the world, but we can control our actions, and reactions. Staying stuck in a situation we can’t stand is the start of lifelong regret. You are stronger than you may ever give yourself credit for. Without the challenges in life to stake our claim on this earth, we would never realize that. Cheers, and best wishes, to everyone out there trying to make it according to your own desires and rules!