Philosophical Meanderings On Chipmunks and Big Fish
One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself if you are considering some kind of personal change, is how would your life be today, if you’d made the change three months ago. Six months ago. One year ago. Five years ago.
This can give you powerful perspective and motivation to get out of the “now” where it seems that sometimes the problem exists. Should you not realize the incredible power of this idea, consider that the new ideas that you have will always feel a little strange at first. But as you grow accustomed to them, they will seem more normal and familiar. Simply by continuing to find and implement new and better ideas, you’ll find yourself growing at ever increasing rates.
And what else is as powerful as self-growth? Many people make the mistake of continually comparing themselves to others. That is always a losing game. Nobody else has your unique background, upbringing, and characteristics, and you don’t have anyone else’s. And you will never likely know the whole story of somebody else, so by comparing yourself to others you are only comparing the surface of a very deep and likely completely different ocean.
You can either start to look at things like this with a new perspective, or you can begin to realize that by understanding that life is always in flux you can feel the need for becoming more than you already are.
And as more and more people become aware of this, they are starting to realize just how easy a fresh perspective can be to a normal everyday life.
Once I was sitting on a bus next to an elderly gentleman. He was reading “Old Man And The Sea,” and seemed to be taking his time. By taking his time, I mean he would read a passage, and then gaze out the window for a few moments, then read another passage, and then gaze out the window or a while.
I waited until the time seemed right to ask him about the book, and he smiled and told me that he was a retired professor of literature at from a local university. He still gave an occasional guest lecture now and then, but most of his time was spent traveling around exploring his local world.
Of course, I asked him about his take on Hemingway’s classic, and he smiled and nodded his head. He said that “Old Man And The Sea” was a lot like life. You could interpret it many ways, and depending on your experience, you would have a completely different meaning. He said that literature is fantastic that way.
Despite being writing by an individual with a specific intention and specific meaning (usually) most works of literature can be interpreted many different ways by many different readers. Even the same reader can interpret it differently depending on when they read it. It’s like the old proverb “you can never step in the same river twice.”
Ok I’m getting way too philosophical here. The point I’m trying to make is that if you look at life as simply a series of tasks to be performed, (usually with the least amount of risk and effort) and checked off some mental list as you go alone, you are as good as dead. Unless you are striving for a specific goal or choice, then you may as well join the Borg. Resistance is futile.
Most people are completely averse to risk of any kind, and want a guaranteed result with little chance of failure before they even try anything. While living that way is certainly safe, it’s pretty boring, and it gets old after a while.
It helps to shake things up a bit and try some new things once in a while, even if they don’t make any particular sense. If you make a fool out of yourself, let the haters have their laugh while they convince themselves of their risk averse superiority.
Only those that are brave enough to reach out and take a risk to achieve the good things in life will ever find true happiness.
And that is how the chipmunks saved the day. Or something like that.