Archive for September, 2011

The Courage to Live

Posted: September 29, 2011 in September 28, what makes us tick
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We all have our special dates, places and memories. As I mentioned previously, September 28 has become my special date, though not in a traditional sort of way. It just has a special meaning for me, and as it turned out today, for more than one reason. It’s a time to reflect on a year and to think about the road ahead. So it’s not a surprise that I’ve spent a fair amount of time today doing that. And just like a year ago, I’ve realized something new.

Have you ever thought about what makes people respect and cherish memory of someone they’ve never met? Someone who’s lived years before they were even born? There are graves in this world that get visitors every day, year after year. There are names, which are remembered with more just admiration for centuries.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m sure most of us have some role models — people we respect immensely, who inspire us, who help us become better versions of ourselves. We never knew them, we never met them, we might have been born after they left this world — and yet their presence in our lives goes far beyond their legacy whatever it might be.

It has just occurred to me today why we feel their presence so strongly. True, their accomplishments matter a great deal, but it is not what makes a “larger than life” person so special. We admire accomplishments while reading theirs book, listening to their music, watching their movies. These accomplishments may inspire our own thoughts, and yet they are not what makes presence of these people so special in our hearts. It’s the way they lived their lives.

After all, they were humans too. Yes, they were talented humans — some of them were talented beyond belief — but it is not what makes countless others cherish their names. They faced their share of problems and challenges — and sometimes these challenges were much greater than those that we face. They had the same time to spend in this world that we do, in fact many of them had way less time than an average life span. And yet they found courage to make a real difference. To get so much done. To push their own limits — which they all had — so far out. They found the courage to live. Not to exist, which in the absence of war, crime and suffering is so easy. But to live. To evolve. To prevail in their own struggles. To transform themselves day after day and to end up the people remembered by generations.

They were not bigger than their own lives. They were just bigger than our lives. And that’s why they keep inspiring us. We have our own battles to fight and our own limits to push. But to do that we need to find the same courage to live they had found. For there’s no better inspiration than someone’s Life.


When a year ago I posted my letter from a swamp, many of my readers assured me that procrastination is a very natural thing. You know, some of them said, maybe there’s a good reason for it. Maybe you actually need it. Back then I didn’t agree with that point of view, finding it too convenient and relaxing. But today, a year later, it seems rather attractive. Because seeing it this way would mean that I’ve just done something natural, maybe even necessary, as opposed to just wasting a couple of hours of my life. It would also mean that I didn’t shy away from a challenge, which is what it suspiciously feels like.

About a month ago I set a pretty challenging goal for myself. I was generous and gave myself plenty of time to accomplish it. The deadline is September, 28th — a date that means a lot to me. The goal came with a twist. It was set as a “make it or break it” deal, meaning that if I fail to accomplish it by the deadline, I would never accomplish it. While the deadline was somewhat arbitrary, the “make it or break it” part wasn’t. In the past I’ve made deals like this with myself and the only reason they really worked was that down to the bottom of my heart I knew that it was serious. But this time I maybe a bit over my head. As I get closer and closer to the deadline, it becomes harder and harder to fight the “natural” and “needed” procrastination.

My guess is that by succumbing to it, I’m subconsciously trying to avoid a failure. There would be a internal excuse that would leave some room for “hey, I could’ve done it, had I not been weak” reasoning. But deep inside I know better. Just a few days from now I will either accomplish that goal — or fail. Whether I fail because I’m not capable enough or because I’m not strong enough, the reason won’t matter. A failure will be a failure, no matter how I choose to decorate it. The only thing that matters is the result.

Stay tuned…

Unmaskd Manifesto

Posted: September 7, 2011 in motivation, what makes us tick

Some of you may remember this post. I’m not a big fan of remixes, but recently I came across the most inspirational piece of music I’ve ever heard. Now it all fits together perfectly.

 

While making this video I realized that it’s been almost a year since I came up with these words. I wish I could say that I had strength to live every one of these 355 days the way I wanted. But at least now I’m stronger than I was a year ago.

Awakening

Posted: September 1, 2011 in a lonely journey, what makes us tick

Life is a series of realizations, and this blog has turned into a place of documenting mine. Today I’ve realized something new. It’s another old truth that all of a sudden has started making sense…

For a while — at least for 10 years — I’ve been waiting for a moment that for the lack of a better term I’ve been calling Awakening. It’s a moment when everything will become crystal clear. When I will no longer doubt my life’s purpose. When sticking to any decision will be as easy as making it. When every moment of my life will become rich beyond imagination. I’ve never known how — and if — I would ever get to that state, but I’ve never doubted that it getting there is possible. So I’ve been searching for ways to get there, going through some false awakenings, experiencing some glimpses of bright clarity only to realize later that it wasn’t it. I’ve learned to use every failure as a stepping stone and to treat every experience as a part of my path. But today I realized something that changes the whole notion of Awakening.

Awakening is not possible, at least not in a way I’ve been imagining it. Life will never be easy. Sticking to a decision will never be effortless. Doubts about my goals in life will never go away. I will always be the same searching, questioning, doubting human. But what I can get is strength. Strength to stick to my decisions, strength to face — and live with — every choice I make, strength to fully embrace the constant uncertainty that we call life. And that strength — like any strength — can’t be obtained in a moment. It can’t be obtained without an effort. It has to be built. Built with every choice, with every action, day after day, year after year.

And maybe, just maybe, this realization in itself is the closest thing to Awakening that I will ever experience.