On most days, my blog post is that scary thing. I'm sure there have been days you felt like unsubscribing from my email list, you didn't want to receive anymore daily crap from me. There probably would have been days you said to yourself, "Hmm, Michael is losing it. He doesn't know that there should be a boundary; some things are best left unsaid (or unwritten)." And there could have been days you wished we were meeting in person, so you could talk some sense into me. But most importantly, I wished there were some days, lots of days, that you felt like giving me a bear hug and telling me how inspiring you've found some of my posts. Unfortunately, none of these matters. I'm probably the most selfish person on planet earth.
I once had this big book on how to survive as a soldier, especially under horrible living conditions and world's most terrible places. I never got to read 1% of the book. But I do remember well a part: the psychology of survival. It explains that history has always shown that it's not always the physically strongest nor the brainiest who hang on the longest to life when faced with impossible conditions of living during and after war. But it's always the enthusiastic, the ones who don't quit struggling/fighting even when they are outmatched by nature or opponents. The ones who aim very high, even against logic. They are the ones who make it.
And I think it doesn't just apply to war but also to life in general.
The most innovative men are not professors. The world's richest men are not Ivy League alumni with MBA. They are not men and women who began with very high standards. Some didn't even have proper schooling and parents. The only thing celebrities seem to have in common is low standards. All the people who have shaped the world we live in, all the people who have given us this present world, did so simply by aiming high. Very high.
The best fuel in the world is enthusiasm. One that gives no consideration for the enormousness of the goal nor thoughts for the resources at hand. And according to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the only way to achieve great things is to be enthusiastic. And Henry David Thoreau puts it this way, "None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm." According to Charles Buxton, "Success is due less to ability than to zeal."
None of us is going to make it out of this life alive, we can't outlive the world. We'll die someday and, hopefully, go to heaven. Yet we set standards that only limit our lives on earth. We have a long list of things we believe are below us. We want to climb a mountain but we don't want to start from the valley; we would rather live our entire lives on the middle ground than take the valley route to getting on top of our mountains. We give up our goals to satisfy our high standards. We don't want to be criticized, sneered at or perceived as little. We avoid living a crazy passionate life, powered with an enthusiasm that would make people hate and love you.
Everyday I struggle to lower my standards and keep writing, and keep doing the things that make sense to only me, and keep fueling my life with rocket force enthusiasm. The real fun in life is in the journey, not the destination. So I aim high, higher than I can reach. Because I'm only looking forward to having an adventurous journey that will last me a lifetime.