I’m really pissed off.
The other day I read yet another article on “7 reasons you’ll never do anything great/achieve greatness in your life” – and I immediately thought:
“Who gives a fuck?”
Seriously, in the grand scheme of things, when I’m 80 years old and I’m looking back, I will give zero fucks about how “great” my life was – the only thing I’ll care about was whether or not I lived the life I wanted.
You’ve heard all the deathbed regrets of people in hospice care:
- I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
- I wish I didn’t work so hard (assumption: on something you didn’t give a shit about)
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
- I wish I had let myself be happier
At the end of the day, we just want to enjoy life and live a meaningful one.
Most of the other stuff, e.g. success, we pursue feverishly because we think it’ll bring us closer to that life enjoyment, fulfillment, and meaning.
But it’s not true. Remember a few weeks ago I talked about how I was becoming miserable working 12-14 hours a day, even though it was on projects I was passionate about and loved? And do you remember the solution?
Doing nothing. Just sitting in a cafe with an espresso people watching and enjoying life.
Doing more in life is not how you die happy.
Doing the right things is how you die happy – whether or not that leads to achievement or “getting stuff done.” This is possibly the most backward aspect of western society.
You see it all the time – high achievers that are miserable old bastards because they pursued achievement without fulfillment. The irony is that success and achievement often come as a side effect – but when you pursue them directly, you fail to get there, or find yourself miserable.
They bought into the false belief that since we’re dying, since the clock is ticking, you might as well cram as much shit as possible into the short human lifespan, because that’s what’ll make you die fulfilled, right?
Live the life you want.
For some people that involves six figure businesses or traveling to 100+ countries.
For others that involves sitting on a perfect lake and waking up every morning to go fishing and going to sleep with someone you love.
Other people just want to find their passion and live it out to the end of their days – regardless of whether or not that involves fame or riches.
It’s funny hearing me write this too, because I’m supposedly one of the ambitious ones. I am very guilty of pushing people towards achievement and greatness. I work 10-12 hours a day average, I set alarms on weekends, I don’t watch TV, I have way too many projects to count and people always ask me where my next trip is.
But all these articles about “how to achieve greatness in life” are starting to make me nauseous. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I feel like people are missing the mark big time. They’re missing the point of life.
And it’s no coincidence that every single article about “achieving greatness” is usually written by a 20 or 30 something. In other words, people that haven’t seen the end, the trajectory, of life yet.
So who am I, at 26, to be debating this? No one. If this shit makes sense, good, pass it on. If I sound like a naive 26 year old, fine, there are lots of other websites you can read.
Achieving great things doesn’t make you happy.
Ambition is a mental illness.
Bucket lists and thrills aren’t how you die fulfilled.
At the end of your life, being published in TIME magazine doesn’t mean shit if that’s not what you wanted – the achievement aspect comes second to the enjoyment and fulfillment aspect.
They’re those deathbed regrets:
“I wish I didn’t work so hard” (probably in reference to a job they hated).
“I wish I just chilled out, laughed more, enjoyed life more.”
“I wish I just made the choice to be happy.”
The Only Thing You Need to Die Happy
Live the life you want to live. That’s it.
Everything else comes secondary. Just live the life you know you were fucking born to live.
You don’t need achievement, ambition, greatness, unless those are part of the story you want to live.
Live the coolest, happiest, most ideal life you would want to read about in a book. Then go do it.
That’s what this is all about.
Thoughts? Tell me below.