A few years ago, I was finishing my undergraduate degree course. I didn’t have an idea how my future would turn out to be. But like every other young person, I was young and full of hope. And I had big dreams. But as I grow older, I have revised dreams that were mere illusions to dreams that are practical and attainable. Today’s article is inspired by this growth curve from living a life inspired by illusions to a life inspired by the realities of the world. I share two important lessons I have learned about living a practical life.
It is okay to be different from other people – you don’t have to be Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy was born on a Monday, Christened on a Tuesday, Married on a Wednesday, got sick on Thursday, got worse on a Friday, Died on a Saturday and buried on a Sunday. How would you feel if this was your life story – so average and ordinary that your biggest legacy is just the fact that you have ever existed?
If you go through the education system for the sake of it, pursue work and wealth development for the sake of it, have relationships for the sake of it or anything else for the sake of it, you’re heading the Solomon Grundy way. Your existence is so average that your absence hardly makes a difference.
You don’t have to be the first person who landed on the moon to he remembered, but you have to do something that adds value to where you are, to the people in your life and to yourself. Your existence needs to outlive you, otherwise your life story will hardly be inspiring.
In summary, don’t live to be like Solomon Grundy. Instead, get that job, do that investment, and marry that person because it means something to you and it will make a difference in the world. You’ll in the process create value and the world will one day remember you for this.
Comparing to compete against others is unhealthy
I can count a number of incidents where an agemate or peer got envious of me (when they perceived me to be doing better than them), and got to act contemptuous (when they perceived themselves to be doing better than me). For both of these instances, their behaviour towards me is at that point and time influenced by they comparing themselves to me, which plays out largely in their mind. The consequence is often an interactive session that is uncomfortable to both of us – just because someone decided to use an ephemeral standard to define the value of a friendship or relationship.
Thanks to meditation and reading lots of personal development books, I have grown to understand so much about what drives human beings that I now live appreciate the value of striving for a well balanced life rather than a life that seems to be better than that of others. In other words, if you choose to rush after the desire for money, social status, education and fame at the expense of important life virtues such as patience, healthy relationships and taking time to learn, you may win in the short run and lose in the long run.
…for what is success other than a state of mind?The Greatest Salesman in the World by OG Mandino
Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described in one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.
Happy festive season!!
Agreed. Working on virtues and values will have much better benefits in the long run, especially when you can do perfectly fine in worse circumstances with good values, than in good circumstances but bad ones. Thanks for this post!
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You’re welcome 🙂