A few weeks ago, I had a talk with a friend over small matters, the likes of what our next milestone is, what we want to have at certain age, how we are going to achieve those, how our condition is limiting us in pursuing our goals, etc.
One of the questions my friend said was this:
“You are diving. You know you have only 5 more minutes before you run out of oxygen. There are treasures you’ve spent decades looking for in about 4 minutes down from where you are. At the opposite direction lies the air, about 5 minutes from where you are. What would you do?”
My initial response would favour going to get the treasures, that I live for that, that I would die trying. Why would we abandon the thing we’ve looked for for so long when it’s already in front of us?
However, reflecting to the life of others and my own, there have been many examples where humans fall, get up, fall again, and get up again before finally reaching their goals / dreams – many even go through it countless time. Doesn’t that mean we could choose to reach for air, then to refill our oxygen tank, get bigger one, or even consider having submarine to go for another shot, better shot, in reaching for the treasures of our life?
So, I think my answer is a bit smart now, eh? But.. what if 1 shot is all we got, that if we choose to get out, we would never be able to go back?
I don’t know. I don’t know the correct answer to that, but I think we should look really well into ourselves and ask how bad we want it. Asking ourselves “What are the 3 most important things I want to do, given the condition that I only have 1 more year to live?” might help.
Great. But, what if we are actually not really sure if we want it? Perhaps we start to think that we might have wanted it since it’s the norm, everybody else is doing it, we are brought up to believe in that, and so on.
To get over that, we could reflect (be mindful of our own thought) and seek for feedback from people who care about us (covered in Stop and be still!). We can argue that as rocks being shaped by the constant change of weather, opinions formed might be due to the environment, which means even our own thought might not be “objective”, but isn’t that what matters? That we have taken into account our real goals or dreams instead not other’s.
In the opening note from Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, he mentions that there are 4 obstacles keeping us from our own dream. The first one is prejudice, the way we were brought up plays a part in this. The second is love, or to be exact, the incorrect view of love. The third is our fear of defeats. The last is our fear of realizing the dream for which we have been fighting all our lives, the guilt that we think we deserve that dream, the lack of our self-worth.
Now, how many times have we surrendered to the conditions we are in and just followed blindly even if we didn’t feel ‘right’? How many times have we fought back and stood our ground?
We only live once. We do not want to waste it by doing something most people (adult mostly?) think is silly or useless. Yet, isn’t not-following our own original voice the biggest waste, that we live a life we are not in-sync with it? It would have been better to fall times and times again in our own life, the one we choose, the one we live with no regret.
Quoting from a Toast Master session,
“Looking at the burial ground, there are not only bodies beneath, but also life not lived, songs unsung, words unspoken, trips not taken. So, Start Now, Start Small, and Start Again.”