The ideal life.
We all have an image in our mind as to what “ideal” means to us and most of the ideas are fed to us by the media. Whether it is in advertisements, movies, even books- it’s always present wherever we are.
The concept of the ideal life, to me, is similar to the American Dream. For those unfamiliar with this term, it means work hard, persevere, and you will eventually attain your “dream”.
The ideal life to me as a student is to pursue an education, graduate and attain a career that will be of great benefit. Then, get married, move in together, raise children, grow old and retire at some point. And in the middle of all that, travel, attend your best friends wedding, and maybe get a promotion? At some point, you’ll grow old, be unable to work, and spend the last of your days sitting on a rocking chair, on your porch, staring out into the golden sunset drowning in nostalgia and reminiscing of “that time when I…”
This is an exaggerated and cliche version of the ideal life. However, many people abide by this dogma, live inside the box where a way of life has already been socially constructed by the society we live in. To me, this world and life is far more vast than the idealized version just mentioned. To me, it is much more than serving myself and to me, this life is a temporary place, which I’ll one day leave but return to something greater.
In thinking this way, when things don’t go as planned, it reminds me that I have the freewill to make decisions and take action, but what I am destined for has already been written for me (enter the “whatever happens is meant to happen” association here)
This is quite comforting because it reminds me that whatever is meant for me, I will get and whatever is not meant for me, I will never receive. Of course we as individuals must work incredibly hard, we must make tough decisions and carry out difficult tasks BUT… whatever the outcome of our efforts is what is supposed to befall us.
We all get our comfort from somewhere.
Some seek it in people, some seek it in their careers, friends, family, but I seek it in faith.
Like Steve Jobs once said, “don’t be trapped by dogma”, I don’t think it could be anymore true.
We may not always realize it, but we are constantly falling into media’s deception- a deception that barks at us to buy a certain product, look a certain way, earn a specific job position and then we will be happy, then we will be satisfied and then, wait for it… we will be complete.
Be honest with yourself in this moment and ask yourself, do you feel complete?
These are fleeting things. Things which will make us happy for a few minutes, a day or so, but after a while it loses its sentiment and meaning and you end up seeking something else to fill this deepening void.
If we allow ourselves to attach our hearts to material things, we can never be forever happy-for happiness is a fleeting emotion. Happiness isn’t a destination. Happiness, just like all other emotions goes and comes.
Seek happiness in the mundane. Seek meaning in a higher purpose, for this life and this entire world is greater than your existence, than your being.
Don’t be afraid to explore, don’t be afraid to step outside society’s box of “norms”.
Don’t be afraid to stand out, speak up and don’t be afraid to seek that which is greater.