“What do I really want?”
-Me, being all philosophical and shit
You know, it’s difficult to figure out what you really want in this life. We only get one try (probably), and with the countless choices we all have, how can we decide what path is truly correct?
Some people choose the safe path. They walk the same path as their parents, or their peers. They choose to do something that’s perhaps not extremely fulfilling, but is at least a steady paycheck. They settle down with somebody who seems right, have a couple kids, and work to make some money until they can retire.
Right? That’s typical.
But when you’re 25, with no real career lined up, no significant other to start a family with, and generally no idea what you want out of life, where do you go from there?
I think we all secretly know what we truly desire. We want to be artists, leaders, lovers. We want to do the thing that we always wanted to do, but never had the guts to try. I want to be a writer of books, and lyrics, and music. I know I have that potential, just like you know that you have the potential for something inside of you. But that’s not an easy path.
The easy path is the typical one. Do what you’re told, get a job you don’t like that pays pretty well, and then you can finally retire when you’re 60. Maybe while you’re living that life, it doesn’t seem so easy. But isn’t the decision to travel down that road the easiest to make? If you make that decision, nobody will tell you you’re crazy, or that it’s impossible, or that you aren’t good enough.
There’s another easy path, though. We can say, “none of that matters”. We can live the easy life, working only hard enough to get by, never truly trying to be anything more than what we already are. We do our job, watch TV, and sleep for a couple hours more than we really need to. Because why wake up when it’s so much easier not to?
It’s the path of least resistance.
Now, the truly difficult question is… Do we want to live an easy life? Do we want to relax, to watch TV, to sleep in ’til the afternoon? We enjoy that life, but is it worth choosing?
A life of effort, of striving, and of failures… It’s difficult to willingly choose that life. To choose to sacrifice fun and pleasure now for fulfillment somewhere down the road. To sacrifice our vices, our sin, our glorification of mindlessness. We give up all the things we enjoy but know aren’t good for us in the singular pursuit of what we know to be our purpose.
That’s courage. And chasing after it takes discipline. It takes commitment. It takes strength. It takes the kind of character that you read about in memoirs of the people who’ve done that kind of thing. It’s not something you imagine you could do yourself. But it should be.
To those who have accepted the path that’s “good enough”, I ask you… Is it really? Is easy living really worth throwing away the chance to discover the truth of who you really are? Who you’re meant to be?
Maybe it is.
But I need to find out for myself where the other road leads.
I wish I could say there’s no turning back now, but that’s not the kind of road this is. One wrong turn and you’re back where you started.
So from today, I’m “trying”. It’s a revelation, I know.
In the words of a wise man, “Maximum effort!”
Because good enough is not good enough for me any more.