Do More Of What You Love
Hey everyone. I’m sorry for disappearing for so long. But I have returned, with a bit of a twist on it if I must say so myself.
I have opened up the blog to a few more writers. People that believe they have a message to share because of their experiences and discoveries of life. Whether you agree or disagree, take something from the message being brought forward. Counter or motivate statements that will lead to self discovery and individual accreditation of happiness.
Enjoy, there’s plenty more in store!
Do More Of What You Love – An Ugly title for an ugly world
“If you say that getting money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. you’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid”. That is an excerpt from a lecture by the late English philosopher and writer, Alan Watts, titled, What if Money Was No Object.
Whether you’re scaling the corporate ladder or just hanging on to the lower rungs, getting caught in the rat race is an inevitable reality for so many of us. The scary thing is, many of us won’t even realize it. But just ask yourself a few questions: When was the last time you made a decision for yourself? Not one that was a consequence of a deadline, time-stamp or overdue bill; I mean a decision that was truly for yourself?
You see, the lucky ones will realize sooner rather than later, that what you do serves a lot of purposes in your life. For others, unfortunately, that epiphany materialises at a point where you are so deeply entrenched in your situation that you feel the only way out is through the window on the 21st floor. Luckily for me, my window is only on the 3rd floor and even with all the exam induced anxiety, I could just about reason that all I would achieve from jumping out my window is a broken leg and sick test.
Still, that quote from Alan Watts deeply resonated with me. Is it really that easy? Can I really just step out of the system and go frolic about the meadows? Unfortunately not, because smiles and sunshine don’t pay the bills. There’s nothing more disheartening than being stuck in a profoundly real situation and all the world around you would rather dip into platitudes and force feed you clichés that are better served as bedroom posters than concrete real world advice. As intriguing as Mr. Watts ideals sound, the fact of the matter is, this is the real world and that is not real advice.
It’s usually at existential turning points such as that take the most poignant look at ourselves. And it is within this crucible of introspection ideas of true value take shape. I realised that quite simply, regardless of what it is you’re doing, your happiness is non-negotiable. I had an idea that I could apply to my life. A mantra that actually had genuine real world application. My ideology, quite simply, was to do a little bit more of what you love. I’ve therefore tentatively coined the concept, Do More of What You Love. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t quite roll of the tongue but I prefer quotes that spend less time in front of the mirror and more time in the gym. Anyway, the general idea of the Do More of What You Love concept is this: There are certain things in life we will have to do to survive, but with what little else is left, we have to prioritise our happiness.
Now I know this quote won’t exactly make for a cool bumper sticker or adorn any hipster’s t-shirts but I hope it may at least have some real world application in your life. There are some things we all generally won’t have control over, be they work hours, due dates, etc. But don’t let the peripheral hours after work or school disappear into the abyss of stress and fatigue. Prioritise your happiness. Love to sing? Go perform for free at bar to any audience that will listen. Wanted to be the next Broadway star? Join a local production of a play. Write that short story. Paint that skyline. Join a movie club, book club or antique stamp collection club. Whatever it is that truly makes you happy, do more of it.
The biggest lie you will tell yourself is that you want to do something for yourself but there’s just no time. Well, the fact of the matter is, there is and always will be 24 hours in a day. That time hasn’t gone anywhere, you have just given it to something else. That brings about the awkward and difficult decision for some of us. When you’ve well and truly run out of spare hours and all that stands between the square pegs of your happiness is the round holes of your job, well quite simply, the job has to go. It may mean taking a job with less pay but we spend so much time and money on things society has trained us to call necessities, and maybe some of them truly are, but why don’t we view our happiness the same? Happiness is no less a basic human need than food and shelter. Put a price on your happiness. Monetise it, weigh it against what you currently have to spend your money on and if you truly value your happiness, you’ll be surprised by just how much you’re willing to put back on the shelf for little bit of happiness in your cart.
That’s an especially hard concept for those who are sacrificing so much to scale the corporate ladder because at this point you’ve become accustomed to the fact that all sacrifice is necessary to achieve your goal and almost revel in how much of yourself you can forfeit to reach the top. If you are not happy, you are going the wrong way. Simple as that. Now, I’m not advocating sloth and gluttony at the expense of hardwork and ambition. It doesn’t have to be so black and white. I am merely suggesting that the odds not be so unevenly packed in one basket. Like, any balanced diet, I am simply advocating a bit more of an often neglected nutrition. Anything from some time on the driving range to a few extra hours of sleep. Ignore what your body is crying out for and You will implode in your own little cloud of assignments and tax returns without ever truly attaining happiness. You must remember that your happiness is not a luxury, it’s an obligation.
For the romantics out there who do insist on words in pretty bows, I’m no Oscar Wilde but here goes. Happiness is not a layover on route to your destination, happiness is the destination. If where you’re headed does not lead you to happiness or the means to achieve it, you are probably going the wrong way. That won’t change, no matter how fast you run. And if you don’t feel like that quote is of any use to you, then atleast it will make for a pretty decent wallpaper.