Monday, November 25, 2013

For Each Day To Have a New and Different Sun...

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun".
- Into the Wild
I posted this quote on our Facebook page the other day as I am wont to do from time to time...  It spoke volumes to me (I have been rather introspective and pensive as of late) and, judging by the number of "shares" it got, it spoke to many others as well.  Of course a few folks pointed out that the man who scribed this quote in his journal died not long after it was written, which I guess for some justifies living a "safe" life.  But in pointing out this man's folly and demise, they are forgetting the fact that this man died doing something he loved and felt passionate about, and dismissing his very poignant message:  we're only here once, so why not live the heck out of life because the more we experience, the richer in soul and spirit we become.  People can keep their hearts beating for many years and fail to ever truly live (we all know at least a few of these folks) so the fact that this man died - tragic as it was - doing something he felt very passionate about and loved, for him, was probably better than the alternative.  While I do not begrudge anyone for living a "normal" life and know that many do this happily and willingly (I have done it before and will do it again as we find ourselves between adventures), I do find it interesting that so many people fail to see just how many of the people around them are actually living a life someone else wants them to live (be it a parent, a spouse, society...etc.) and are, in fact, dying slow and rather agonizing deaths in their very "safe and responsible" existences.  Obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, self-medication with prescription and/or illicit drugs and depression (among other things) are huge problems in the United States today...so perhaps working for "the man" to attain the white picket fence, the dog and the Rolex aren't exactly fulfilling people like we have been bamboozled into believing?  

Along the same vein, I came across this very interesting article about the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying which has been floating around the interwebz for a while.  They are pretty eye-opening and very much in line with what I am waxing poetic about here:  Live the life YOU want, laugh more, follow your dreams and work less.  (I warned you I have been introspective lately...)

And just to finish off this random post with some more randomness, I leave you with the trailer of what is sure to be an inspiring documentary about an incredible individual who's legacy loudly reiterates the sentiments above:  

I don't think we all need to live on sailboats, become extreme skiers or shed all of our worldly belongings and head off into the wilderness in order to live our lives fully and without regret - but to find something that excites you, challenges you, makes you grow as a person and fills your heart with passion and joy is probably a good start.  To create your own horizon and find your new sun in each and every day.  Thoughts?  

23 comments:

Carolyn Shearlock - The Boat Galley said...

Oh yeah, I've been thinking lately of so many people I know who just seem to be "marking time" instead of living. In the words of Jimmy Buffett "I'd rather die while I'm living . . . "

NatGeoWannaBe said...

For those that play it safe (including myself to date): You are guaranteed to fail that which you never try.

Mark and CIndy - s/v Cream Puff said...

"Obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, self-medication with prescription and/or illicit drugs and depression (among other things) are huge problems in the United States today...so perhaps working for "the man" to attain the white picket fence, the dog and the Rolex aren't exactly fulfilling people like we have been bamboozled into believing?"

While I agree with your intent and fundamentals regard this post, what is not to say that someone who is obese looks at food the very same way you look at sailing/traveling? The same can be said for drug use and alcohol. And for them, the obesity or addiction is just a side effect of doing something they love to do. I do not agree you can pin these miseries on “working for the man”. These are just simple choices others have made that are different from yours.

And as for the utopian quote at the beginning of this page, life is about comprising. Some people may be in a situation they do not particularly like. But, the choice is theirs, and only theirs, to make. It is an individual decision that should never be condemned by others. It may be hard to believe, but some people like being miserable. Perhaps being miserable is their mountain. Or, perhaps they are miserable because their alternatives are even worse and therefore they compromised and settled.

You may find Shane’s documentary inspiring. Others may see it as horrifying. Just maybe the safe conformists you mention are happy. Perhaps living a safe life is their dream. Not everybody wants to climb the mountain. For some, the dream in life IS a Rolex watch. Much as your dream is to have a healthy family and live to fulfill your goals. Don’t be so quick to categorize people and point the finger because your beliefs are different. I have read many postings from where you took offence and did not like being on the receiving end so, why take a shot now at people living a different life-style. No one life-style is the correct one – but – it is their choice.
Live and let live.

Sorry, you asked for thoughts - you got them.

Mark
s/v Cream Puff
www.creampuff.us

Nate said...

Mark,

You are completely right, of course, that some people are doing what the love in life. I suspect, however, that most people aren't. That seems to be the point Brittany is trying to make: to encourage everyone to take a serious look at their life and make a conscious choice, not simply go through the motions. To some that choice will be to have a picket fence, and more power to them. To others it could be something else, and more power to them.

I want to happen to life, not have life happen to me.

Anonymous said...

Cream Puff, I think Brittany was just saying to be certain you are choosing your path rather than getting pushed along it. Of course, people can choose the picket fence and Rolex, but so many don't choose it, they just get swept up in it. The picket fence/Rolex does not make one a conformist, giving up their choice does. The words used in the definition of conform include defer to, accept, obey, adhere to, go along with, fall in with, follow - done of these words scream CHOOSE to me.

Anonymous said...

Mark,
I think you also missed her last paragraph which sums it up well.
Each person has their own version of a what dream life would be. Brittany is only saying you should make the choice instead of letting some else make the choice for you.

-John

Michael said...

Saucer boy!!!! I love Shane

Mike Minton said...

Well said!

Oh -- and have a safe and great Thanksgiving! All... 5 of ya, and Families and friends! :)

Mark and CIndy - s/v Cream Puff said...

John,
" Brittany is only saying you should make the choice instead of letting some else make the choice for you."

Are they not making the choice to let someone else decide the path? Who are we to say this is wrong? I did read the last paragraph and stated in my opening that I agree with the fundamentals of the post. I just do not agree it is our place in life to single people out and tell them they are wrong or that need to examine their decisions of life.



Nate,

It is not our place, or anyone else's place, to tell other people to examine their life. If someone wishes to not make conscious choices and go through the motions, then is that not their choice?



Anonymous ,
"Cream Puff, I think Brittany was just saying to be certain you are choosing your path rather than getting pushed along it. Of course, people can choose the picket fence and Rolex, but so many don't choose it, they just get swept up in it."

How do you KNOW so many don't choose. (if the tree falls in the forest and no one is there...)Who are we to say others are wrong in their decisions in life.

"The words used in the definition of conform include defer to, accept, obey, adhere to, go along with, fall in with, follow - done of these words scream CHOOSE to me"

Then how do you explain someone's CHOICE to follow God when all of the words in the definition you outline are included?




Respect and love thy neighbor. Don't be so fast to judge others for not being the same as you.

Mark
s/v Cream Puff
www.creampuff.us

GetMyBoat said...

Well said, Brittany. We are all so lucky to have the opportunity to live the life we want along with the ability to change it if we don't like it.

Windtraveler said...

Mark & Cindy - first of all, to compare the motivation to drink, do drugs, and over eat to the point of obesity with the motivation to travel, cruise, live in nature and sail is - to me - sort of ridiculous. They are very different and I did not say that those things are inherently linked to working for "the man". Overall, in the US - those ailments are insidious of a certain type of lifestyle. I was reacting to the people saying that those who die living their passions are silly and/or a waste. I am NOT telling people that the way they live their lives is wrong...like I said, I do not begrudge anyone who lives a "normal" life - and Scott and I, despite choosing a less than conventional path, are VERY cautious and safe in this lifestyle (sometimes ridiculously so)...and we have both lived "normal" lives and will do so again. The point was to illustrate something that I truly believe in, that there are a LOT of really unhappy people in the world living lives they do NOT want to live because they are afraid to break free, so for people to look at people who DO live fully and free and say that they killed themselves with their carelessness or selfishness, is a mute point because there are plenty of people killing themselves slowly living the way they "should". And anyway, most people reading this blog CHOOSE to read this blog, and it's where I share my thoughts - if I want to write something and people want to read it, then I think people can choose to also take it or leave it.

Anonymous said...

Completely concur, on all aspects, with Cream Puff's thoughts. Diversity (including thoughts, opinions, passions, et al) is what makes this world and greater life experience all that it is. Viva la difference!

Anonymous said...

Breathe Brittany! Dialogue and the exchange of different ideas are NOT a bad thing... on your blog or elsewhere. Peace.

Windtraveler said...

Anonymous - I assure you, I am breathing...but when I am completely misunderstood and taken out of context, I feel the need to explain further. Discussion and differences are good and I embrace those things (as I say so many different ways in many posts throughout this blog). I have never said that I expect people to live as I do (in fact, I believe I state quite the opposite from time to time) and I firmly believe in "to each his own".

Mark and CIndy - s/v Cream Puff said...

Brittany,

Sorry if I stuck a nerve. Perhaps, this is the part of the post I find the most judgmental:

"...I do find it interesting that so many people fail to see just how many of the "conformists" around us are, in fact, dying slow and rather agonizing deaths in their very "safe and responsible" existences. Obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, self-medication with prescription and/or illicit drugs and depression (among other things) are huge problems in the United States today...so perhaps working for "the man" to attain the white picket fence, the dog and the Rolex aren't exactly fulfilling people like we have been bamboozled into believing?"

I agree with you that life is short and it seems we should make the most of it. But, I also think "conformists", as you have labeled them, are not all wrong in their life choices and those working for "the man" may in fact have well balanced and happy lives. I also think it is their right to do as their choose.

With all due respect, it is your blog and you can write about whatever you want. But, in all honesty you did ask for thoughts.

Mark
s/v Cream Puff
www.creampuff.us

Windtraveler said...

Cream Puff - I respect your thoughts, but I just wanted to make sure my point was clear because it seems that it was lost and I have been misunderstood. I never said that "conformists" (and I put it in quotes for lack of a better word, perhaps that was the wrong choice) were wrong in their choices, I totally do not think that at all. I have plenty of family and friends living "conventional" lifestyles VERY happily (they love what they do, they have passion in their lives and a real sense of accomplishment with what they do). My real point (the one that seems lost) is that while people can easily condemn people who live on the edge doing things outside the box and then die as a result, people make judgements that they were selfish, silly, died in vain etc. etc...what I am saying is that there are plenty of people living "normal" lives (and yes, many unhappily so) that are dying very slowly of heart disease, alcoholism, obesity, depression..etc. etc and I was just pointing that out. I agree with you that no one should tell another how to live (my post about people not supporting dreams is about just that, in fact) but what some might consider reckless, another might consider fully living. What others see as living a safe, conventional life might actually be the exact opposite. And I further stated that one need not be an extreme athlete, cruiser or wildlife vagabond to do this - but that everyone should be so lucky to find a new horizon in each day by doing things that they love and that make them happy.

Mark and CIndy - s/v Cream Puff said...

Brittany,

(smile) I do get your point. I got it the first time I read it. Someone living their dreams should not be judged by others, ever. I agree 100%.

I took issue to the statement I outlined. I still feel after reading it for the 3rd time, it is somewhat judgmental. However, I respect you meant no ill will and that perhaps my interpretation is not the intended meaning. I hope you have not found me to be offensive in any way.

I wish you, Scott, Isla and the twins a wonderful festive Thanksgiving

Mark
s/v Cream Puff
www.creampuff.us

Windtraveler said...

Thanks Mark- I have actually edited the post to eliminate any confusion or unintentional negativity that might be perceived. Hope it helps. And Thanksgiving?? It's Thanksgiving?!? I had no idea ;) Happy turkey day to you and yours as well.

klstr said...

I agree, one should follow their passion and not remain unhappy in situation when there is only so much time in this life, it should be enjoyed. I currently work as an oncology nurse in the Midwest. I enjoy my life and my calling. I have the honor of working with people who in many cases are very close to death or are now figuring out that this life does not last forever. I hear over and over again how they wish they would have spent time doing more of the things they love, spent more time with their loved ones, cared less what others thought. There are so many wishes for time. Or a chance. Simple things that were always a choice away. Work or stress kept them from a dream or chance. I know we all have a different dream but if you don't take the chance to follow it, put your heart out there and love, and let yourself be free to be happy then you may not have lived your life to the fullest.
One day soon I look forward to leaving here, finding our new adventure and writing another chapter in the book of my life. I will never forget the lessons I have learned in this one, but I am starting to feel held down, time to sail away. Your blog made me smile.

SuburbstoSailing said...

So true!

We believe that life is an adventure, and the best days lie ahead of us, not behind us. We spent the past few years stuck, just going thru the motions, and getting comfortable. That was the most dangerous part for us... the getting comfortable in the every day routine and not setting new goals to challenge ourself to work towards. For us the call to action was to take a RISK in life and to start doing things that are out of our comfort zone. Buying a sailboat with no prior knowledge of sailing seemed to fit the bill, so we just went ahead and did it. It could be anything to anyone - moving to a new city, taking a new job, getting a new hair cut. It's all about taking the risk and reaping the reward.

LOVE your blog - we read it daily! - and excited to follow you guys on the next step of your adventure!

Cheers!
Matt & Deanna

L said...

Hi,

That was a really interesting debate and I think you both made good points. The only thing I'd like to add is that alcoholism and depression (and, despite what people think, sometimes obesity - watch Peter Attia's Ted talk) are debilitating illnesses not necessarily brought about by a certain lifestyle and for people with these illnesses, just managing to live a "conventional" lifestyle can be a massive achievement in itself. So I think they were bad examples to be honest.

But the principle of being true to yourself is one that no reasonable person could argue with.

Happy Thanksgiving by the way. Here in Europe it's just another Tuesday! Enjoy.

Life On The Rode said...

"It all comes down to livin' fast or dyin' slow".
Dreadful Selfish Crime
Robert Earl Keen

We're not too far behind you guys.
Kirk & Donna
"Ainulindale"
Currently in Antigua

Hedonistic Values said...

"But in pointing out this man's folly and demise, they are forgetting the fact that this man died doing something he loved and felt passionate about, and dismissing his very poignant message.."
I thought the same thing when reading some of the replies of your facebook post.

Also, I posted something last year along this same vein that I think will probably speak to you, Brittany, as it did to me. Something I shared with my children who were 13 and 18 at the time. I am always pushing them to live whatever dream of life they wish to achieve, emphasizing that they need to wish - have that desire - to achieve it. I love exposing them to all walks and ways of life. It's my personal opinion that our lives are enriched just by that exposure because we learn to be more accepting, and we find other traditions, values, etc to adopt or incorporate into our lives and make them our own. That's just me. I know not everyone agrees, and I'm totally ok with that.

ANYWAY... here's the link to that post, Brittany. Enjoy!

http://www.hedonisticvalues.com/2012/11/843/

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