The key to a happy life is to persevere, and fight for what you believe in, except for those times when you need to let go and surrender. Or maybe you need to relax… do less and just be more. But after you’re done with that, make sure you get off your ass and do something.
Hey you know what you need? A good job, some steady income so you can focus on the things you’re passionate about. Also, don’t forget to quit that job and go travel the world. You only live once, right?
And your body… you know you could lose a few pounds, so why don’t you stop eating crap and hit the gym? And while you’re at the gym in front of those big mirrors, don’t forget to accept your body just the way it is.
Cause you’re perfect, just the way you aren’t.
When you stop and think about that statement, it doesn’t make any sense. I made it up, because I thought it sounded cool. The funny thing is it’s no more true than any other affirmation or life wisdom you will hear, because all of it is useful for specific times in your life.
Wisdom is Contextual
If I’m out for a run and pushing for a new personal best, it may not be the time for me to stop and check in with my feelings or notice how fast my heart is pounding. However, if I’m out for a run and my injured knee starts to hurt, it may be time to listen to my body and quit.
This is the problem I have with people who brand themselves with an idea, take Gary Vaynerchuk for example. He has made himself famous for being the guy who hustles. It’s a great word! In fact, Gary was a huge inspiration for me when I was transitioning out of being a Navy Officer into a full time musician. I needed some hustle juice, and I got it from Gary.
But the problem is people like Gary become a broken record, because hustle is only half of the wisdom pie. He’s like a TV pundit who calls himself a democrat, so he always spins arguments toward being liberal and toeing the democratic party line.
It’s boring and predictable.
The people I currently subscribe to are the ones that can hold multiple perspectives. They are the ones that speak their truth, but also have the awareness to recognize that it’s just one in a sea of truths. That’s why I have that cute phrase in the sign up form at the end of my articles.
Get weekly thought-provoking articles that question the status-quo (and question questioning the status-quo).
It wouldn’t be enough for me to say that what I do is question the status-quo, because then I’d just be a rebel, fighting for the sake of upholding my reputation. What if I wanted to argue on the side of the status-quo? What would I do then?
It’s a bit like me in my twenties. I left for college at age eighteen with the intention to be free. I had extremely loving parents who watched me at every turn, so I was excited to be out on my own. I convinced myself that I was free, but the truth was I was only free to do something if my parents didn’t want me to do it. If my desires matched up with what they wanted for me, I wouldn’t do it!
That’s a tough way to live, and it’s certainly not freedom.
Why are multiple perspectives so hard?
How come we can’t have it that there’s more than one truth? Is it that we haven’t heard the other side of the story? Today in the information age we’ve seen so many perspectives, yet we dismiss them.
Here’s what I think. We don’t hold multiple perspectives because we’re caught up in our need for approval.
One of the ways we’ve learned to get approval is to stand for something that’s popular among a group of people, and always be that for them. We become “the inspiration guy” or “the spiritual woman” and we build our whole life around that thing, but we’re living a lie. We’re acting like we found the whole truth, when in reality it’s only just a piece.
There is literally no stance you can take that doesn’t have an equally valid opposite perspective.
Doing vs Being
Holding On vs Letting Go
Acceptance vs Transformation
Get a Job vs Quit Your Job
You are Mortal vs You Are An Infinite Being
It’s all just a matter of perspective, and none of the perspectives are worth holding on to, stressing out about or fighting over.