“It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.” –Ian McEwan
They say the biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. It creates this gap between people. Or is it a wall? And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? It does make you feel as if you’re alone, the only one who thinks and says and acts in a certain way.
And by feeling so don’t we diminish others as well? Don’t we fail to understand that even though they are different, they’re still inherently the same as us? And they deserve to be treated the same way we’d like to be treated.
I don’t know, it’s a difficult question to answer.
But could you hate someone if you knew why they do what they do? If you could truly understand them? Their thoughts? Their feelings? Know their past? Their struggles? What they want? What they have lost?
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — William Goldman
I’m not a big fan of “positive thinking.” Yes, it’s important that we love ourselves, that we try to see all that is good and worthy of gratitude in us and others. I believe in seeing the light in others and offering them the support they need to better themselves.
But I also know that it is extremely important that we be realistic about what is what and who is who.
”Maybe it’s the choices we make? We all start from the same grain but choose different paths? I’ve always thought most of us are only a handful of key decisions from a much different life.” – Ashley Williams
It does seem that most of the time paradise is just around the corner, doesn’t it? That the life we want, the life we dream about on our most lonely of nights, is just out of our reach. Almost attainable.
Life, as we want it, has to be conquered. It’s not a place to be reached, or something that can be granted. Our decisions shape our destinies. Life is what we make it.
But it’s easier that way, isn’t it? To think of the promise of a better life as something that will come to you eventually. To imagine a future that you never have to struggle to reach. It’s just there, inside your head, like a reminder of all that you could be… if only…
Contrary to what you might be inclined to believe about this photograph, it was taken in 1999, when Jeff Bezos was already worth around 9 billion dollars. Yet he worked from that office, drove around in a Honda, and had a terrible sense of fashion.
Today’s richest man was working from headquarters located on the same street as a pawn shop, a heroin-needle exchange, and a “porno parlor.” His office, the badly stained carpet, the desk, made out of a door propped up on two-by-fours, all give the impression of the kind of hopelessness that people often encounter whenever they start something new.
Success is not easy. Overnight success is so statistically improbable that we might as well think it doesn’t even exist.
The struggle is real. Just imagine in what kind of conditions Bezos was working when he first started his company, if this was what his office looked like when running what had grown into a 30 billion dollar company.
The same way Elon Musk had to borrow money to pay rent in the early days of SpaceX, all successful people had to deny themselves pleasure and comfort in order to bring their dreams to life.
There’s no way around it, I’m afraid.
And there are certain aspects of success that rarely get talked about. We romanticize success to the point that it feels like a walk in the park. You do what you love, always a smile on your face…
“Planes are built for flying. Ships are built for sailing. Houses are built for living. And man, too, was built for purpose. He was designed for accomplishment, he’s engineered for success, he’s endowed with the seeds of greatness, and the greatest danger we as human beings have is when we do not do anything at all.”–Zig Ziglar
One of the most perverse mindsets is that of thinking that there’s always something else or someone else to blame. They think that someone’s supposed to come into their lives and give them everything they ever wanted.