We live in a universe in which uncertainty is a certainty. What we know compared to what we don’t know is literally nothing.
Day in and day out, we live a life where our perceptions, our knowledge, our understanding of how each puzzle piece fits in with the next is so incredibly limited that it sometimes amazes me that we bother to make anything of ourselves at all.
But that’s just it, isn’t it — because we don’t know, in our minds, anything is possible. It’s this possibility of the incredible, the excitement of the gamble, that gives us that spiritual hard-on. The one thing we know in life is that we matter. Why? Because we believe we matter.
We feel we matter because we are alive. We are conscious beings, and even if we’re just cosmic accidents, an anomaly, it doesn’t make a difference because we know we exist — and because we exist, we must matter.
And because we matter, our actions must matter just as well. What we do in our lifetimes is all that matters in the sense that anything can matter — it matters to conscious beings.
Our actions don’t just affect our lives, but also all of those lives we come into contact with. Even if we ourselves don’t become a part of someone’s life, the consequences of our actions still may.
I don’t believe that one has to choose between living selfishly versus living benevolently; there’s no reason you can’t do both. The only hurdle is figuring out how… and then managing to pull it all off, of course.
People always seem to feel a need to choose between one or the other, but it doesn’t have to be a choice. You can have that cake and eat the damn thing just as well.
What it takes is for you to be smart, diligent and lucky — in that order. You need to be smart enough to get your priorities straight — figure out what matters to you in life — and to figure out what you believe you ought to be doing at that exact point in your life.
You then need to work your ass off, solve intricate problems, overcome barriers, innovate, fail and then continue to get back up and forge ahead. Then, last but not least, you need to get a little lucky; you need to be presented with an opportunity.
Or rather, you need to create an opportunity for yourself. Working yourself to the bone for the sake of working yourself to the bone is just plain stupid.
Not only will you fail to do anything meaningful with your life, you’ll die miserable. The goal isn’t to work for the sake of working, but to either work toward a goal or in a general direction. We may not know exactly what we want out of life, but most people have some general idea. Head toward that idea.
Head toward it and keep heading toward it until the fog begins to rise, and you begin to get a better understanding of your surroundings and possible destinations.
A lot of people fail to accomplish anything with their lives because they’re afraid they’ll head in the wrong direction and waste both their time and energy.
All I can say is that by doing nothing, you’re already wasting your time and energy. The only way that you can find where you need to go in life is by trial and error. Pick a direction. Head in that direction. Adjust direction as necessary.
Getting to where you want to go is so difficult because it’s impossible. You will never be exactly where you think you will one day be — the reality will always be slightly off from the way you pictured it. This doesn’t mean that it has to be off in a negative way.
On the contrary, your life can turn out to be much better than you ever expected. Whatever the case, the truth is that we don’t know exactly where we are going to end up in life and, for this reason, can’t plan out the ideal route to get there.
We know so little. So incredibly little. But our goal as human beings is to learn and uncover a sliver of the universe’s mysteries. You can’t do that if you don’t experiment.
It’s not going to be easy — no one ever said that it ought to be. You’re going to have a difficult time in life if you try to accomplish anything worth accomplishing. The struggle itself is what makes it worth accomplishing.
Think about it — nothing easy to accomplish is ever praised. It’s what we can’t all have, what we can’t all accomplish, what we can’t all experience — that’s what we all want. With so many people going after the same things… you can’t be surprised when you have a difficult time of achieving them for yourself.
You really should try to learn to love the struggle. Well, I’d argue that most of you already do, but are simply too weak to admit it. I mean, no individuals like the struggle when they’re in the middle of it, but when they come out the other side victorious, that struggle allows for an incomparable sense of self-pride.
If you ever want to feel truly successful, if you ever want to feel a sense of pride that makes you smile every time you think about it, then you’re going to have to do something worth doing; you’re going to have to struggle.
The struggle itself is crucial beyond the sense of pride it gives you later on in life. It’s crucial for two other reasons. It’s crucial because it makes landing a great opportunity possible, as well as puts you in the ideal position to run with that opportunity.
Imagine struggling for years — yes, it will be years — pushing your way through the muck endlessly, to then all of a sudden be given a clear runway. You’ve built up strength and wisdom through all those years of hard work and all of a sudden feel 100 pounds lighter.
To accomplish anything great, you have to turn into a beast of sorts. You have to be quick. You have to be strong. You have to be sharp. And you have to be starving. Struggling for all that time makes you — with an opportunity in your hands — a very dangerous person.
by Paul Hudson
This post originally appeared at Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. Currently located in Manhattan, Paul Hudson primarily devotes his time between writing for Elite Daily and a mining startup in Turkey. He loves sharing his life experiences with his readers and makes sure to practice what he preaches.
Photo: are you my rik?/Flickr