“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds” – Edward Abbey
They say the top of the world is a lonely place. They also say it’s a dangerous place to be, mostly because, even though the view is amazing, you can’t really see how high you’ve climbed.
But maybe it’s all an illusion. Maybe we never reach the top, we just think we do. Maybe life’s just a road, and there are no destinations: an endless journey towards an imaginary destination. When it’s good, when it feels good, we’re on top; the world is ours. When it’s bad, really bad, we’ve reached rock bottom. And we want to go up, where nothing can hurt us anymore.
Let me ask you a simple question: the easy way or the hard way? The shortcut or that crooked, winding, lonesome, and dangerous trail? The struggle or the victory? What makes you really happy?
To paraphrase Hemingway, the goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to become better than your former self.
Because the truth is that there’s someone out there who’s better than you at anything you can imagine. It’s just how it is.
You can as competitive as you like, but you’ll only become bitter whenever you’ll be defeated.
The trick is to compete with yourself. To outgrow who you used to be, to push past your own limits and fears.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1
In a way, everything that ever exists in this world was first a word. What you call the Universe is made up of words, not atoms. The people you have loved and lost you keep alive by using words.
What you think you are, what others think of you… words.
What you tell yourself, what you tell others… words.
If words didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be much. Maybe we wouldn’t be anything at all. Continue reading
“Above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art.” – Felix Gonzales-Torres
When we think of human needs we think in terms of hunger, cold, thirst, the need for shelter, or for human connection.
Something like that.
We don’t think that we have this paradoxical relationship with death… our own brevity scares us so much that we want at least a small part of us to endure… we want to stand at the edge of the abyss and shout out at the darkness that our own mortality will not diminish our light…
We also feel most alive when closest to death. Continue reading
“The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God’s paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle – and not lose it.”
Life is a war.
You have to fight to get what you want, you have to fight to become the person you want to be. You have to fight to put food on the table, to be fit, to accomplish goals, to take care of your body.
The hustle, as they say, never ends.
Of course, you might be inclined to use one of life’s many crutches: to have someone else take care of your needs, to dream of retirement, to dream of winning the lottery or reaching Heaven. Continue reading
“People only give value to a thing if they have, at some point, been uncertain as to whether or not they’ll get it.”
― The Winner Stands Alone
I often say that it’s the struggle that pleases us, not the victory. That we must fight to get what we want, and that what we do not fight for never lasts.
We often forget about the sacrifices we must make to get what we want. We focus on what we are, what we are not, on what other people say or think or do. We focus on the tools we need, on funds, on whether or not others believe in us. We focus on the reward, on the journey, on the setbacks and failures. We focus on everything but this: Continue reading
“We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” — Earl Nightingale
Do you ever stop to think about what makes us special? What makes us…us?
Then, do you ever wonder what can possibly make some people great?
What is greatness? Or talent? Or success?