“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.
Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day.
This is all practice. “
“It’s never as good as you want it to be; It’s never as bad as it seems.”
Well. Chuck Palahniuk writes some really deep shit. Stuff that really makes you think. That said, I have to admit, when I read the opening quote a lot of things about living Life, in business and personal, made a helluva lot more sense to me.
Maybe it’s just me, but, it seems like most of Life is tainted by sense of constantly missing ‘something’ … as in something maybe better than where we are and what we are doing and feeling or in what we have done. It isn’t always this huge disappointment. It’s just like a little nagging sliver in the palm of your hand.
All the while this sense is interposed with glimpses of … well … what is actually better. We, being we humans, naturally don’t accept the sense we missed something. Therefore we begin becoming more & more careful with how we invest our time and more careful about what we do <or don’t do>. Basically, we start treating our lives carefully assuming that if we do so, we will have less sense of something missing and more glimpses of ‘the better we feel like we are missing sometimes.’
Are we wrong.
We sure are investing a shitload of energy chasing something I believe Life simply dangles in front of us to tease us with thoughts of ‘what could be.’
It is quite possible we should learn to accept the nagging sense of missing something as … well … good. Good as in it makes us a little more alert for ‘things.’ Maybe it just makes us pay attention a little more.
Maybe we should accept the feeling isn’t lostness nor the thought that maybe we were not on the right path in Life.
Maybe we should just accept it as a characteristic of a good life.
Anyway. All of this leads me to a quote, and a thought, I vehemently disagree with:
“People who succeed tend to find one goal in the distant future and then chase it through thick and thin. People who flit from one interest to another are much, much less likely to excel at any of them. School asks students to be good at a range of subjects, but life asks people to find one passion that they will follow forever. “
<The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources Of Love, Character, And Achievement>
That is just bullshit.
Life does not ask people to find one passion that they will follow forever. That’s like saying that I love ice cream, but I am only going to eat chocolate ice cream for the rest of my life because it is my favorite flavor.
What a potentially boring life.
What a potentially ‘missed opportunity’ life.
The whole ‘passion’ discussion makes my head hurt so badly I start rubbing my temples so hard that then the sides of my head hurt too.
Let’s be clear. It is not passion <although glimpses of passion is always fun>. Life asks you to do the best, be the best and pursue what you believes makes you the best of what you could be … that’s it.
That’s what you follow forever.
Is success achieving that ‘one goal in the distant future?’ Maybe for some. But ‘people who succeed tend to find one goal and chase it’ is bullshit. What happens if I suck at picking that one goal or maybe my sense of direction sucks as I ‘go thru think & thin’ getting to the horizon <only to find I am standing in nowhere land>?
I am all for people pursuing goals.
I am all for people being passionate.
I am all for pursuing thru thick & thin <assuming what you are pursuing is ‘real’ and not some fantasyland>.
But I am not all for putting the blinders on, the bit between the teeth and then run like hell toward some goal on the horizon. I do believe you should be inspired in your actions … but inspired is very different than passion.
Passion. I have a passion … it is for something.
Inspired. I can be inspired by many somethings and moments and experiences and … well … you get it.
Here is a Life truth. The people who tend to succeed are inspired … by one thing or by many things … doesn’t matter. They are just inspired people.
“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”
All that said. Let me circle back to the beginning. No matter how careful you are, no matter how much and how hard you pursue something … you will still have a sense of having missed something. Everyone has an undercurrent sense, a feeling, of missing something.
Look. We all pursue one thing — happiness. We may couch it in some ‘idea I have’ or ‘money’ or “purpose” or, well, anything else life has to offer, but we all want, and therefore seek, happiness. I would suggest what Chuck suggested we think about is not really acceptance of ‘lesser than what we want’ but rather accept the balance Life offers us.
The balance in that we will almost naturally have some sense of ‘something better’ no matter how careful we are in managing our lives or the pursuit of some goal.
The balance of actually getting a glimpse of that ‘something’ and not having rushed thru some important moment versus the missing feeling.
Well. Having said all that.
When I read the opening quote I had a better understanding of why so many people are unhappy far too often.
Because if we DON’T accept the sense of missing something as part of living a full Life … well … that means you will spend your entire life chasing that sense <to suffocate it in some way>. If you do that, well, that pursuit will inevitably suffocate your Life <and that is an unhappy Life>. Ponder. Maybe I am missing something. And maybe I am not.
Originally posted October 2015