Category Archive For "Personal Growth"
Source: Cyndi Lauper is Having Fun Singing Country – AARP There are two kinds of people in the world: those who sit at the table and those who sit at the bar. We table sitters value comfort, privacy, predictability. Bar sitters happily sacrifice those things for the chance encounters, the unpredictability, the fun. Can you …
My friend came across this letter from Hunter S. Thompson on Tranquil Monkey and sent it along to a group of us gals who talk about our goals and purpose in life.
Yes, goals groups are a thing, and they’re great. Get together with some friends every few weeks and talk about your goals. Seriously.
Anyway, here we have a not-yet famous Hunter S. Thompson writing a letter on the meaning of life to a friend. Man, I can’t remember the last time a friend sent me a letter, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t contain the meaning of life, or any Shakespeare quotes.
Whew, it’s good stuff. As these things often happen, my friend sent this just as I was debating something along the same lines, whether to float with the tide, or swim for a goal.
When you’re freelancing and building your own business, it’s inevitable that something will come your way wanting to take you out of the water. And swimming is hard, so you contemplate it. It’d be so much easier to just take a regular job, you think. Give up the dream for a paycheck and benefits like most everyone else does.
But I think what Hunter S. Thompson is trying to tell his friend, more or less, that when presented with two choices (or eight), you either know if one is right for you, or if neither feels right, and you’re feeling stuck enough to ask for advice, you’ve gotta find a third (or ninth) way. You gotta stay true to you and keep going for the life you want.
Something like that, right?
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I absolutely adore this quote by Pema Chödrön, especially the part about grief. It’s so true, when we’re in pain, we’re able to do things we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
I’m pretty sure either Beavis or Butthead said something similar, something like “You have to have stuff that sucks to have stuff that’s cool.” Pema is just as bad-ass, and a lot more eloquent:
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest…
Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both.
Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction.
On the other hand, wretchedness—life’s painful aspect—softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose—you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple.
Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
— Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön