“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
A stretched mind is a healthy mind.
The goal with any of these silly articles is to stretch your mind. To offer up a new way of seeing things in such a way that you can’t unsee it. Along these lines, there’s this sinister idea that we’ve been told all our life: “You are perfect just the way you are”.
I’ve never met a single perfect human, that doesn’t have something wrong with them, or that’s a little rough around the edges, plenty more to work on.
Of course, I’m aware of the sentiment behind that overused statement - something like you’re not as bad as you think you are. Which is probably true. The opposite is true too, you’re not as good as you think you are.
The gem tucked deep inside that pithy statement is that you ought to accept where you are currently. Not as in accepting where you're at because it’s good enough, but accepting where you’re at as in that’s the only way you can make real improvements. Knowing where you stand so you know where to step next.
To a large degree, refuse where you’re at, scoff at where you’re at, reject where you’re at.
It’s usually pitiful. It’s usually 1000 miles away from where you want to be and trying to pretend like you’re where you want to be or your life is what you want it to be is a massive delusion I am not giving into. I don’t lie to myself. I tell the truth no matter how brutal. It’s the right thing to do. To stay hyperaware of the reality of the situation.
Most people won’t tell you the truth. They’ll sugarcoat so they don’t hurt your feelings. We hate to hurt people’s feelings despite knowing what’s best for them really and telling them what they really need to hear.
So if you can’t even tell yourself the God-honest truth, who will?
Obviously, I’m going hot today with this one, but it’s true. It drives me crazy to so many people unmotivated. So many people live in a lackluster way. No passion. No precision. No aims. No goals. No heart. No striving.
Where are all the others with the fire under their ass? Where’s the spirit of pursuit? Where’s the spirit of adventure? Who else is out there wanting to see just how far they can take their life? Who else is out there wanting to see just how deep they can live? Who else is out there wanting to see how much of a difference they can make in one lifetime? To start from Point A and get as far down the alphabetical points as possible.
The beautiful reality is that the worse off you are now, the more juicy and inspiring the story. Those are the best. Those are the testimonials you want to read. Those are the biographies that break your brain.
“How in the hell did he go from that to this????”
The more at a loss, the better. The more you’re at a disadvantage now, the better. The more you overcome, the greater the view at the end.
No one starts halfway up the mountain. We all rise out of our own relative valleys.
Don’t be deceived by those part of the way up, tired of hiking, tired of climbing, who are giving up at the first glimpse of view they get.
Don’t be yourself.
There’s too much of you still out there waiting.
Turns out there can be a lot of overlap between building design and building a life. John Ruskin (unknowingly perhaps) tells us how to live life better.
It's never too late to stumble upon an underlying principle of reality. (Especially one that can be put to use immediately)