“Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.”
You are born fearless and powerless. Let that sink in for a bit, think this sentence over for a while. Fearless and powerless. The only thing you’re afraid of is loud noises and falling. That’s it. But you can’t walk, can’t feed yourself, can’t do much. The paradox is that you are born powerless, yet feel invincible. Insatiable. Restless to assume the world, to acquire the knowledge and wisdom required to make your dreams come true. Passionate, brave, wanting to build great, big things. You look up at the stars and want to reach them.
But, in time, you figured out that some things are just not possible.
The people around you place you inside this cardboard box. You fill it up with all the things you know are possible, all that you have learned, all your emotions and states and feelings and what you define as your personality. You slowly turn away your gaze from the stars.
You start building walls instead of bridges. Lots and lots of walls. Failures upon failures. Mistakes, bad habits, a bit of misfortune here and there.
Things that keep you awake at night. Regrets or loneliness or both.
You live inside this box and you call it life. You forget about the child who was filled with love and passion and this restlessness filling his veins.
“This is who I am,” you say to the world. “This box contains all that I am, all that I’ll ever be. All that I can, all that I can do.”
This is all that you’ll ever be able to be. Yet, there’s a small… let’s say that you never truly close the box entirely. You peek out from it once in a while. There’s still a bit of hope that you can become more than what you are, but…
Change is so painful. So hard. Why does it have to be like this? All these bad habits, so difficult to give them up.
That’s the moment most people die.
It could be when they’re twenty or forty or sixty, it doesn’t matter.
The moment you’ve built your box and decided that that’s all you’ll ever be, that’s when you’re dead.
But make no mistake. You’ll keep on dying, day in and day out, in more insidious ways, until you’ll find that suffering has its own appeal.
You’ll die so many times that you’ll be so lukewarm when the final moments come that you won’t care about many things. But when the end will be nearest, that’s when you’ll realize that the box was just a hoax. A lie.
You’ll be a box full of regrets and pain and bad memories that you couldn’t let go of mixed in with some good ones that should have lasted forever.
You must realize there is no box. There are no limits, no fatal defeats, no definitive victory. There is no road to success, no how-to book on being happy, and there isn’t any kind of certainty.
Life is about discovering. It’s about creating.
You built that damn box yourself. You told yourself that you’re stupid or shy or just not talented enough.
You told yourself that story, over and over again, and built your box.
And it takes a hell lot of will power to change this. It’s going to be painful.
Growth is painful.
Deciding that you can expand on what it is you think you are is harder than just deciding that it is possible, that it can be done.
People reach a certain point in their lives when they decide that they’ve suffered enough. And they don’t want to suffer anymore. So they play it safe. They give up on the dreams that seem too big to ever come true, they diminish themselves. They want comfort so bad that they spend their lives reacting to all kinds of discomfort, never seeking to improve.
And thus they keep on suffering.
Keep suffering…until you decide that you’ve suffered enough that no one else has to suffer again. If you can do something about it, you will.
That’s how you decide what your life is going to be about. That’s how you stop trying to break walls and realize that you are being guided towards something.
The ideal you.
The one that is capable enough of leaving a mark on this world.
The one who is wise and gentle and open to new learning.
In life, in love, in work, it is important to either change what you don’t like or learn to accept it.
It’s equally important to know when to do so, unless you want to die knowing full well that you didn’t decide your life. You just settled for it.