This question itself poses many more questions, the first one that I see is “what IS life”? How often do we hear people say “well that’s life”? What does this actually mean? Perhaps I’ll get to that in another post but for the purpose of today’s discussion, read this with your own definition of life in mind and draw comparisons based on your own values and beliefs.
Using myself as an example, I felt for so long that I had my life planned and sorted out and that I knew ultimately what I wanted to do with my time on this planet, this time around anyway. As I reflect back over a few years that have been feeling somewhat awakened now to my passion, I feel that for the first time in a long time I have finally started to peel back the layers of bullshit the society and the world as we know it have covered me with trying to make me believe that the system that has been created is life.
The field of personal development and self-help is perhaps more prominent than ever and I believe this can be attributed to a few things. I believe that humans have always had a deeper understanding of their purpose and what they have been put here to do but I also know that there are those who have this understanding who have put systems and processes in place as a method of control so that individuals fail to reach their destiny’s and live out their passions. We as infants are taught to walk, to talk, how to eat and feed ourselves and then we are placed in educations institutions which tell us to then sit down, to turn up at a particular time, to leave at a particular time, to eat at a particular time and they tell us what they believe we need to learn in order to exist within the systems and processes in place within our current operating model of society.
At points during our education we do get to pick and choose our subjects at school, we then get to invest our time and intelligence in our pre-determined fields of expertise to gain the grades we are told are required to go and do further study if we so choose and then live out our lives working towards what we are told is common goal.
A common goal, does that differ from an individual goal? I feel as if to an extent it does but then again, the greatest variable in any situation involving people are the people themselves and to what extend can every individual be controlled to the full extent?
This year I reached a point where I gained my primary and high school education, I went on to study tertiary education all with an end goal in sight and then I chose to study more and more and more! At the current end of my studies where I was moving forward towards a goal, I couldn’t help but have this overwhelming feeling of emptiness inside, something was missing, the closer I got to my goal the more I realized I was merely just another cog in the chain of a pre-determined society which I felt and feel does not fit the mould of what I am at the core.
During the course of trying to get to the goal which ultimately I had let society and others tell me was my destiny, I awoke one day and realized I had not done several things for a long time which I used to do so naturally and that I derived great pleasure from. I used to read, I used to write, I used to play the piano, I used to ride my bike – all these things I had not done in such a long time as life as I knew it had got in the way. So I set out to re-define my definition of life, I started reading again, I started writing again, I bought some new music books and sat a piano for two days and I played, I bought a new bike and I started to ride it as often as I could. I finally felt as if I was starting to peel back the layers of which societies “norms” had placed on me, on me as the individual, trying to get me to conform. Conformity is a soul killer, it kills the spirit and I feel like too many people allow this to happen and rarely stop to smell the roses and reflect on what and who they are truly contributing to!
So the question I posed in the title was “what’s something you used to enjoy before life got in the way”? Having read all I have written thus far, what is it? It can be the simplest thing, what is something that you do everyday that you are good at and get pleasure from and seek no reward? What is it that once life as you know it is out of the way for the day, that you CANNOT WAIT to do? Think long and hard about this, but don’t think for too long, for life as we know it does end as far as the physical existence is concerned and before you know it is time to leave this planet for now and I could not imagine how awful it would feel to be in my dying moments thinking of a life which I regret and one of which I wished I did this or that or said this or that. I’d rather have the conversation or experience and get an unfavourable answer or result than not do it and never know and I’d like all of you to read this to take this one board and think about where it applies to you.
Until next time.