"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." - William Feather.
Optimism, idealism*, determination, and a burning desire or passion.....these are perhaps the attitudes and qualities that keep one going despite many a fall and many a failure. In other words, these are qualities that keep one going despite reality! Sometimes I wonder whether it is the people who are very 'pragmatic' and accommodating of the weaknesses and the inconsistencies of the world that are really happy.....because they would rarely be disappointed by what they encounter. They are 'OK' with things......OK with anything. But is it really worth it to live such a life? Perhaps this is what 'existing' means as opposed to 'living'! Like G.B Shaw said, isn't it the people who are 'unreasonable' (I am interpreting this to be behaviour that does not accept the norm.....that is, the so-called pragmatic perspective) who are finally capable of achieving something significant? Isn't that what happiness is ultimately about?
What kind of life would you prefer leading? One where you don't let the day-to-day problems get to you and you move on either ignoring them or accepting them and settling only for what *seems* possible? Or one where you would rather not 'accept' these nagging and seemingly trivial problems but resolve them (even if it sapped a lot of your energy) while at the same time moving towards a larger goal that aims to change the world? In movies, our favourite heroes, of course, adopt the latter attitude. Luckily, they are conveniently endowed (by the director and the story-writer) with superhuman powers (physical and mental) to fight the villains, the society and sometimes the entire world. We know we aren't similarly equipped. Sometimes though, we do hear of real life heroes and heroines who have miraculously managed to stand out of the crowd and change something. They'd have more often than not achieved it through one or more or perhaps all of the following:
- relentless efforts - involving knowledge and action,
- heart-wrenching compromises or sacrifices,
- extremely smart and unconventional approaches that others somehow did not think of,
- luck/destiny that places them in perfectly convenient situations,
- natural or acquired charm and passion that influences people to join forces (inclusive of general people skills)
Sounds like an uphill journey, I admit.......but, in my perception, a very satisfying and fulfilling one that eventually takes you to 'paradise' - the close-to-ideal world that one was inspired by to begin with. And well, the journey itself would anyway be one to celebrate, despite its demands, for someone obsessed with its purpose . The most fundamental of requirements would of course be the desire to make life better not just for oneself but for society at large.
Have you looked at something beyond the world you live in today? If so, is it a paradise or just a little picture on the wall? Does it justify your emotions, capabilities, aspirations and dreams? If it's a paradise you're thinking of, what does it look like in your imagination? Do you plan to embark on the journey to your paradise sometime? Have you decided what you need to pack your 'suitcase' with for the trip? How much will you suffer were you to not embark on this trip to paradise and justify your purpose here on earth?
Idealism* - The seemingly unreasonable expectations from the world and from oneself that some of us can't stop having. It may be about values, competency, relationships, character, and so many other specific aspects related to smaller chunks of life....! The deadly kick of idealism can throw one into the deepest and darkest of pits just as much as the intoxicating heights to which its divine inspiration can take one ;-)