When you look at your life, when you assess where you’re at right now and where you want to be what do you envision? Truly envision? How do you want to live your life? You only get one shot at life. One chance to make it the greatest, happiest, most fulfilling life ever. As the millennial saying goes, You Only Live Once. Do you want to live one third of the only life you have trapped in an office building, strapped to a 6x6 cubicle? Or do you want to go outside, experience adventure, do something that scares you, do something worth while, and live a life of fullness and total contentment.?
That’s the life I want to live. When im old, when most of my life is behind me and not in front of me (if I make it that far), I want to look back and be happy about what I did. I want to tell my grand children of the time I went skydiving, rocky mountain climbing, and rode 2.7 seconds … you know the rest.
We have lost the value of happiness and replaced it with wealth, material possessions, and safety. Our currency is money and our vice is our greed. We have lost the currency of happiness, of adventure, of fulfillment.
See we have been conditioned to pursue money, fortune and stability over happiness, struggle and risk. They tell us to reach a certain financial mark, accomplish x y and z tasks, and settle down, then and only then will you be happy. As if accruing a mortgage, a car payment, credit card debt, and student loans will make us happy. We buy the bigger house to fill with junk we don’t need and buy fancier, more expensive cars to impress people we don’t know. Since when did other people’s opinions of us affect our way of life?
Most of us here at Positive Raditude HQ are college students and recent graduates. People ask us if we have a job lined up, if we have a plan for our future, if our salary is high enough. People expect us to settle into a life they impose on us, a life deep down we know we don’t want but are afraid to say no. Were expected to give into the safety net of a house, white picket fence, a 401k and if we work hard enough, 10 vacation days a year.
We need to live true to ourselves, not to what others expect us to be. Daniel Norris is one of baseball’s fastest up and coming pitchers. He signed to a $2 million signing bonus to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and is currently pitching for the Detroit Tigers making millions. But when his teammates roll up in Rolls Royce and Bentleys, Daniel Norris pulls up in a 1978 VW van that seconds as his home. While others have mansions and expensive cars, he has a beat up old van and a life that’s truly his. While his teammates are pumping iron in a state of the art gym facility he is doing burpees in a Wal-Mart parking lot and surfing. But he’s living life on his own accord, the way he wishes to live it, not the way others expect him to.
If this article comes off as me venting then I’ve struck the right tone. We need a wakeup call. This materialistic life of accumulating stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t truly care about is destroying us. Its putting families in financial ruin, marriages at risk, pushing people to depression and developing a society of greed. I’m not saying we need to denounce every material possession, recede from society and be a hermit out in the woods, not in the least bit. Inherently the things I’m talking about aren’t bad things. There’s nothing wrong with buying a home, saving for retirement, and having possessions. I’m also not bashing our whole society. Our forefathers fought, bled, and died for the opportunities that we have today. Soldiers die on foreign soil to protect our freedoms, police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics stand ready to help in our time of need, teachers work tirelessly to educate our youth and sanitation workers drive our streets cleaning up our own mess. Our nation and our world is built on the foundation of those who have sacrificed with blood, sweat and tears before us. We should be thankful for the life we have and the opportunities laid out in front of us. Don’t waste it.
My main point is when we replace complacency with happiness, we need to evaluate where we are in life. We all need to reassess our values and what we pursue in our lives. If having the American dream of a house, kids, a backyard with 2.5 kids and a dog will truly make you happy to your core then pursue it. But I know there is more in you than that. We come from a long line of ancient ancestors that had to fight to survive, who lived in tune with nature, who had to hunt for their food and built communities that served each other. There’s ancient blood running through your veins that you can tap into. You contain the DNA of adventurers, of explorers, of wonderers and of risk takers. Thousands of years humans have been pushing the envelope of what it means to live, now it’s your turn. Are you going to sit back and watch other people do extraordinary things on your Instagram feed? Or are you going to do it for yourself?
Lets regain the currency of happiness. Lets exchange laughter, let friendship be our bartering and let adventure be our reward.