Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Do we Do What we Do?

Maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew. Maybe I'm feeling a bit existential. Maybe the NFL and NBA are in the middle of a lockout and there's no meaningful sports to turn my brain into a puree of hopeless speculation and meaningless statistics.

I think, though, that if you're reading this you are in a similar life position that I am, or at least you have been here before. Mid-late 20s, working or in grad school, and following the very specific and detailed life plan you made for yourself senior year of college and hitting every goal right on the head.

Or, maybe you're a real person and you took a job because it paid and you're working it until you figure out what you want your life to look like and what you really want to do with it.

Most of us are just biding our time. Hoping that life's answers will drop in front of our face like the life-saving oxygen mask in a crashing airplane. Only the mask hasn't come down, and the plane is starting to dive.

Stay with me here, I'm not saying we're young, stupid, and our lives are over because we listen to rap music. That's something my character Crotchety McFumblefart shouts from his doorstep while gripping his walker in my new TV series "Just the...Three of Us?"

What I am saying, is that we have a defining moment in front of us. If you're anything like me you assume when you graduate college you're supposed to do whatever you can to make the most money, have the most things, and make sure every single one of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know about it. This is the American Dream defined by 2011. Humbly shove your success in the face of those around you. Let people know you're popular, cool, and smart.

Instead of waiting for life to define itself for us (or living a life defined by the opinions of others), choose to create a situation where you define your life.

Determine what your gifts are. Define your dream job or situation. Establish strong and selfless reasons "why" you want to reach those goals. What do you want your life to be? How much thought have you actually given it?

I've decided one of my goals is to become a published author. That may take me 30 years, but I have made the decision. I believe in my ability to do that, or at least my ability to pour time and effort into making myself better.

You have to take the opportunity to choose what you want your life to be. Don't coast like everyone else.

A final thought: I think you'll find that determining intentionally selfless reasons why you want to achieve your goals is critical. For me, the idea of making the most money for the sake of having great wealth (or belongings) has always left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I don't believe we were put on this Earth to serve ourselves. Why else are there all these other people around us?

1 comment:

  1. Sir...wise words. From a man quite lost and most definitely searching for what may become the rest of my life, you are and have always been much appreciated. I am one who believes that our sole purpose in life is to establish create and share ourselves so that we may influence others, because true learning and knowledge arises only through the long lonely channels of experience and thought. Live long and prosper.