Make Voyages! Attempt Them. There Is Nothing Else
“Make voyages!” cried the playwright Tennessee Williams, “Make voyages and attempt them, for there’s nothing else.”
The bold adventurer succeeds the best, for no truer call of purpose has ever been uttered better than Ben Franklin’s, “If you want to be remembered in this world after you’re long dead and rotten, either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
“Try to make your life adventurous and memorable, and perhaps even worthy of one day being told in a tale,“ wrote Don Quixote.
When Jim Rohn had concluded a talk at one of his seminars, he was approached by a young man who was curious about his teachings; “You speak a lot about doing ‘more’ in your talks,” he said. “But I grew up in a very modest home and I feel I would be miserable if I was rich, my parents were not rich but we got by and my childhood was relatively happy. I feel that I would be content doing the same with my family. So why should I do any of the things you say I should ?”
To Jim, the answer was as self-evident in the question as the question was in the answer; “Why not?” He replied, “Why not wish for more happiness, more fulfilment, more satisfaction in life? Why not reach your full potential and give your family the best life you can possibly give them? The best marriage you could possibly have, the best kids, the best job?”
All nature is trying to reach its full potential, The ocean in all its thirst for adventure is trying to reach beyond the shore and touch the clouds as they pass by. All these forms of life are continuously evolving towards a better version of themselves, the tree is trying to be as tall as it can be. The flower to bloom as beautifully as it can, the peacock to have the most beautiful feathers it can, and the wild animal to become strongest, fastest, fittest it can be.
We may be satisfied now while the economy is stable, but what happens in the event of an outbreak of war or disease? It is only those with means that are able to provide for their families when the safety of a stable job is taken away. Poverty, it is said, is a burden to all it touches, it takes away from the pleasure and joy of life because It’s principle is this, to him who has little, even what he has will be taken away from him. While Money can’t buy happiness, it certainly buys a lot more happiness than poverty. Warren Buffet is of the opinion that If your salary is your only source of income,, “you’re one step away from poverty.” Worse still is working aimlessly at a job one hates, for that, is the cemetery of all dreams.
“Many people,” observed philosopher Richard Taylor, “go through life with hardly an original thought; gravitate from one pleasure or amusement to another; gain a livelihood doing what someone else has assigned; flee boredom as best they can; marry and beget children; and then, without having made the slightest difference of any unique significance, die and decay like any animal. They are, in the most ordinary sense, very limited. They pass their time, day after day, in idle, passive pursuits, just looking at things — at games, television, whatever. Or they fill the hours talking, mostly about nothing of significance — of comings and goings, of who is doing what, of the weather, of things forgotten almost as soon as they are mentioned. They have no aspirations for themselves beyond getting through another day, doing more or less what they did yesterday. They walk across the stage of life, leaving everything about as it was when they entered, achieving nothing, aspiring to nothing, having never a profound or even original thought… This is what is common, usual, typical, indeed normal. Relatively few rise above such a plodding existence.”
“Take heed young man,” wrote Emory Adams Allen, “Take heed of an aimless life. Take heed, too, of a low and sordid aim.”
Kevin O’leary, speaking of the defining moment in his life that steered him towards entrepreneurship, says it came when he was a young boy employed to mop and sweep a store. On his first day his boss told him to scrape the bubble-gum off the seas and floor, but he refused, stating that he was hired to mop the floor and not to remove bubble-gum. This, he says, led his manager to fire him. When he returned home to his proud mother who asked about her son’s first day at work, he replied, embarrassed, that he had been fired. The lesson he took from this experience is that there are some people whose job it is to clean off bubblegum off the floor, while there are others whose job it is to tell those people to clean bubblegum off the floor. “I decided that day i wanted to become the person whose job it is to tell other people to clean bubblegum off the floor
It is often assumed that having a comfortable and relaxing balance between day-to-day activities and moment-to-moment fluctuations defines a good life. Despite the fact that we may have the ability to do something no other human being is capable of. People who are able to perform something unique — and if they do it well regardless of whether or not other people appreciate it — will confer the greatest benefit on themselves. The ability to create is the most valuable ability that we all possess. To make things, even little things, is a joy and a privilege of being human, and there is no greater source of pride than in creating something of value that is truly original. Some create with their hands, some create with their minds, and some with their wealth and influence. But in all cases, we all create. It was a common saying of Nietzsche that “creation is a redemption from suffering,” for, creation makes life worth living. It is a fundamental part of human nature and we have within us an inexhaustible drive to improve ourselves and the world around us. The twofold process of creation — the formation, from a thought in the mind, of a tangible and useful thing — is the most significant and rewarding experience available to us, for in creation we are able to join our imagination with the forces of nature in a manner that has never been made possible before or elsewhere in nature.
“Human life, by its very nature, has to be dedicated to something,” wrote José Ortega, “An idle existence is a worse negation of life than death itself, because to live means to have something definite to do, a mission to fulfill.”
Philosopher Colin Wilson wrote that excessive inactivity, rather than promoting mental health, breeds unhappiness and a slew of psychological issues. Wilson discusses this conclusion in his autobiography, “Dreaming to Some Purpose,” where he notes that as an adolescent, he struggled with bouts of depression and sympathized with the wisdom contained in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” As a result of his observant nature, he began to notice that his bouts of sadness were usually preceded by long periods of inactivity. When he didn’t fill his days with interesting tasks, challenges, and problems to solve, he discovered that depressive moods would soon wash over him, clouding his perceptions and making him pessimistic about the human condition. Wilson defines a mentally healthy person as one who routinely draws on a significant amount of critical reserves. “A well-defined and beneficent goal,” he says, provides a sense of purpose and endurance in all human endeavors.” Anyone, no matter how talented or gifted they are, is living below their potential if they have no goal or set a goal that is too low.
Let’s do great works in our short lives, and let posterity know that we came this way. To let them know that we were here and did the best that could be done with the stuff, and to let them aspire to do better and reach higher in their lifetimes, for we owe all our modern comforts and conveniences to those who came before us. Every one of us has a unique path and journey. Let each man find his own purpose, and walk his own path, and run his own race, striving for that ultimate triumph that life gives only to those who dared to run the course.
“Do not settle for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” is the advise Nelson Mandela left us. Your purpose is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it. Write a book, plant a tree, father a child. “Find the thing you want to do most intensely and then do it with all your might. If you live, well and good. If you die, well and good. Your purpose is done” — H.G. Wells. Otherwise “Why?” asks Mirabeau, “Should we call ourselves men, unless it is to succeed in everything, everywhere?”