Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Emerson Post #1- Fifteen Minutes

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

Fifteen minutes isn't very long to reflect on one's life or what one wants to say. So in that case I will just speak. Due to the brevity of time forgive the jumbled nature or my comments.

It's tough to say what makes one's life great. I don't think it's the same for everyone nor do I have the answer for everyone. The things I remember most about my life are the things I have done with others I care about. Friends and family are what make life worth living, and how we exist beyond our finite life. All things come to an end, but when we give of ourselves to others it stays with them and should we do something fantastic well perhaps it will change them enough for the better that the individual passes it on to others, and so through acts of kindness we can live on forever.

The human experience is so magnificent and yet so mundane, no? Regardless of how fantastic of a life one lives there is ample time for nonsense. Time spent doing things that don't matter or that we would rather not be doing. Why is that? Maybe we grow in these moments in ways we can't yet fathom. Do we develop patience, focus, wantingness? I can't say for certain.

Money can't be the answer for anything because at the end of the day it's just there and you always feel like you could have more. I don't see it as a limitation in my life. I have enough to do the things I want, and yet I strive for more. Perhaps, it's seen as a scorecard. That's Warren Buffett's premise. That we merely use it as a way to keep track of who has done what and so we feel that the more we have the better we won at life. There is some truth to this idea. Society pays us for our contributions, though it seems unequitable because we overvalue some things (athletics/entertainment) and undervalue others (education).

If I have one desire for those around me it is to live their dreams. It is so easy to get locked into routine and live it. To do the same thing over again. To find the best use for our paycheck, spend it, and get the next. Spend some time frequently questioning why you do what you do and try alternatives. We have a set time here and we may as well take advantage of it. I've found that our only limitations in life are those we instill upon ourselves. Hard things worth doing are hard to prevent people that don't want it bad enough from doing it themselves.

I used to believe that life was about finding what you are good at and doing that. I was wrong. There is no such thing as exceptional talent without exceptional effort. Any successful individual you read about has struggled to get where they are at. It is human nature to try and find the shortcut. There isn't one. You will not find unbridled success without developing a talent. Enjoying the cultivation process helps.

Take the time to believe in yourself and let others know you believe in them. Empowerment is something that is cheap and can have a profound impact. I'm very bad at this, so I apologize for my shortcomings here. When you see someone up against the wall help them see over it. Sometimes it only takes a change in view to continue to push.

Create something. Whether that be a blog, art, whatever, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Do something because you can and because you enjoy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment