“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” — Henry D. Thoreau, Walden
Too often, an expected and unfortunate scenario plays out in our lives: we tow the line, waiting for something to happen. We do what we believe is expected of us — from our family, our culture, our social group.
We put our lives on hold and constantly live in the land of “what if” while our dreams and our reality drift further and further apart. Then one day we look in the mirror, and we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore. We don’t know who we’ve become.
The things that mattered to us, the things that caused us to pound our fist on the table — we can’t really remember them. They are a faded memory of a life long past. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We have a choice in that moment. We can turn and face our reality, or we can keep our head down, marching to the same beat.
Struggle for the sake of struggle does not produce greatness.
In our culture we have a tendency to worship “survivors.” But it’s time to ditch the survival mentality and start thriving. If you are going into battle, let it be for something that is worthwhile — your truest self.
What are you living for? What motivates you, and where has that brought you? Has it given you what you really want? Do you feel like you are living comfortably inside your own life? Are there masks that need to come off?
Don’t wait for life to remove them from your face — take them off yourself first.
It’s easy for our lives, and our dreams, to get cluttered with life. It all starts to accumulate — emotional baggage, relationship baggage, bills, responsibilities. We become blind to the staggering beauty that is simply breathing in and out. We numb ourselves to what is hard, shutting out joy in the process.
We forget what it means to be alive.
A dream isn’t something we invent — it’s something we’ve always had inside of us, and somehow lost along the way. We don’t have to figure it out, or go searching for it. We just have to find our way back to it.
If you stripped away the money, the obligations, the things you think you have to do, who you think you are supposed to be, what would you end up with? Remember what it felt like as a child, to live in the realm of ultimate possibility?
Everything was fair game — no idea was a bad one. Who were you then? What did you dream of when you were dancing to the music, playing dress up, pretending to be a superhero, setting up the lemonade stand?
What would that kid think of you today?
None of this means you have to decide the exact “what.” It doesn’t mean you sit down and write a plan. It means you wake up to life.
You begin to remember what you were born for, and you start going in that direction. It is a bold move made in small, quiet, steps. Little decisions that eventually add up to major tectonic shifts.
Give yourself permission to dare again. To take chances, to throw out all the stuff that is holding you back. To say goodbye to the clutter and revisit what it is that makes you feel like you are actually living.
It’s time to DIY your life.
We DIY so many other things — our home improvements, our recipes, our tech fixes. Why not take this approach to life? Instead of waiting for permission, or waiting for an “expert” to do it for us, let’s just do it ourselves.
Let’s forget what we think the outcomes should be. Let’s stop waiting for things to be perfect and just do what we were born to do. We don’t need the perfect setting, the perfect tools, or the perfect moment of inspiration.
We just need to start the process. Creativity and inspiration can actually thrive within limitations. Boundaries and challenges are what bring us clarity.
There is no better day than today to start your journey.