4 Minutes To Understand Life
My grandfather is 98, I asked him once why life is so hard for us young people to figure out, his answer will stay with me forever and it inspired this piece.
“We can only understand life by its ending, not by its beginning”
You know that population with wrinkles and grey hair? the ones overlooked by most of us and under appreciated by society? they are books of wisdom waiting to be talked to. They have lived the cycle, they just want us to understand a few things:
You can only connect the dots backwards:
you may not understand right away what is happening to you. You may not know why some people leave and others arrive, or why certain opportunities do not appeal to your heart, just keep going, one day far in the future the dots will connect and you will look back and see just how every little move, was well written by fate so you can achieve your destiny, just like the day you were conceived and the day you were born, but also just like the day you will die. It is inevitable, a sequence of events that may seem broken but it knows the way to your destiny.
Embrace negative emotions:
Sadness, melancholy, these are feelings we want to oppress. Old people understand that only through the cracks can the light get in: do not fear the ‘negative’ emotions, enjoy them, give them space, feel their presence, they allow more growth than joy itself can and they hold the answers to who you are meant to be. Sadness is greater than joy, do not waste it.
Leave a legacy:
Do not leave a bank account to your children. Leave a story, live everyday as if they were watching. Ask yourself if what you are about to do today is something you want to tell your children about one day.
Money comes where there is passion and conviction, start that blog, write that book, create that startup, whatever your dream is, a legacy will always be remembered. People may forget your name, what you looked like, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Uncertainty is rewarding in the long term
Knowing exactly what your life will look like in 20 years is not necessarily a good thing. Leave a space for your life to flow, seek uncertainty and live long enough at the edges until it becomes your comfort zone.
Security is rewarding at the short term, uncertainty is rewarding at the long term. Your life is just a long term that sums up all the short ones, what will you choose?
Love is misunderstood, love anyway
Do not miss out on love. Love with your full being, whether it will be understood or not, do it for you, because love asks for no permissions to come and it loves to feel welcome. Kindness in general, when it is sincere, will confuse people. Love them anyway, they were never given kindness for free and they feel that your gesture of pure humanness could be a demand of something else. Love them and leave them better than you found them. Fix the broken, kiss the unloved and give to those who have nobody to give them anything. You will receive more than you ever imagined. But give first.
Stuff-ocation is terrible
Do not pile up more stuff than memories, more things than emotions and more money than joy. Do not suffocate yourself with stuff: stuffocation is the new disease.
Dress humble, no matter how much money you own, talk simple language no matter how many degrees you hold, be the last to give an opinion no matter how opinionated you are. Do not suffocate yourself neither with things nor with dogmas: things will kill your physical space and dogma will kill your mental space.
Be a loner
Love your solitude, cultivate it with art, refined things and share it only with those who are willing to enrich it. Do not fear fingers pointing at you for choosing solitude over lame company, people love to stupidify each other, let them, do not participate.
Have holy curiosity and create intimacy with books and within your personal space — even if that is just one room. Make it speak for who you are and enjoy your solitude in there. Do not be an isolate, but be a loner, few know the difference.
Fly into yourself
The only journey is the one within. There is no other journey that matters. Being in Bali will not make you spiritual, being in Paris will not make you romantic and being in Italy will not make you an artist. You can be all those things right where you are, because the journey it takes to become them is the one within and the one within only.
Remember the end, always, when you are confused at your beginnings. Remember that greatness has never come from certainty. Embrace the road less traveler, collect emotions and leave a mark on people’s hearts when you can, but do not expect to be remembered, just wish them well and gracefully move on.
Life, what a wonderful thing, it is to be lived not to be conceptualized.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” — Robin Williams