Burn out or fade away?
Recently one of my key influencers, Chris Guillebeau, posted a blog entry about the idea of escaping into reality rather than away from it. It’s a neat blog post, and it dovetails into quite a few of my own personal ideals. For example, I never like the idea of being “distracted” from things that are going wrong – to my mind, it just puts off things getting fixed. Maybe it’s my soto zen background: meditation is never to get away from the surroundings, but rather to experience them more fully, more honestly, with as few external judgements and attachments as possible.
Misery is Easy-or, Easier
But what if life sucks? There are certainly some arguments that there are realities that are no fun to experience no matter what. The art of finding joy even in tragedy is truly coursework for the advanced soul. But Chris’ argument is that for most of us, the “misery” of everyday existence that we’re trying to get away from is eminently in our control. It’s kind of like the old joke about telling your doctor “It hurts every time I do this.”
The doctor’s response, of course, is “Then don’t do that.” If the reality you live in is so bad that you just think constantly of escaping it, maybe you shouldn’t live there. And that’s what people like Chris Guillebeau like to help other people do. The Art of Nonconformity is a great starting place for that.
However, I do feel that he left out one particular warning about going out and seizing that reality that you want. It’s much more tiring than the reality you’re in. It’s more fulfilling, sure. But it is also a lot more work.
You need to go out into the world and actively look for fulfillment. You cannot take a backseat in life and expect things to happen for you. – item #7 of “The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy“
I think it’s important to remember that. Because it’s essential that you be aware that your ideal reality will wear you out. It’s just that awesome; it’s that fantastic, that you will be hard-pressed just to keep up with it.
That’s ok, though. Because it also feeds you, and like anything you love, you’ll keep going just to see what happens next. There are occasional breaks along the way, and certainly lots of friends to help you along the way. And besides: isn’t it a lot better to get worn out than worn down?