Life eludes those who do not seek to propose to it.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Such a tragic observation and yet one cannot help but feel pangs of empathy with those silent souls. Who amongst us has not looked back at moments in our lives and wondered “where did the time go?”
Who hasn’t ebbed when unexpected anniversaries rear themselves to remind us that we have done little except chug along for the last year?
Who hasn’t ridden from paycheck to trickling paycheck with little in the way of let up, let alone a getaway?
The real tragedy of our plight is not the lack of want or our inability to conspire with colorful dreams. It is that our desires are repeatedly diluted, diverted, or discarded—often times the result of a mild forgiving of our current schema.
We accept our fate today dressed with the promise of a destiny tomorrow.
But of course, tomorrow is never the present and as the days drag on the years fly by, the clock ticks fastest in hindsight. All too often the alarm rings out at the echoes of what could have been.
This is not necessary. It is by no means written that we should embark on nothing but tedium.
We can reclaim, revise, revolt!
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
It is imperative that we who wish to devote our time to joy should devise our own schema, our plans and paths, that complement our destinies.
How do we go about this?
We become self-sufficient.
We become masters of that which we aim to achieve. We eliminate the order of the oligarchy by becoming our own personal anarchists. We establish the revolution in our souls and go great and wayward in the direction of our dreams!
Simply, we bake bread, make art and ride bikes.
If we are to break from the tyranny of established order, that which enslaves us with the promise of reward, then we must first blueprint our ideas and ideals.
“The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.” – Victor Hugo
Deciding what we want from life is an empowering milestone.
It provides direction. We instantly become dreamers, cartographers, adventurers. We demand possibility. It’s a freedom that will see us climb to the top of the mountain, whatever our mountain may be.
Our bread feeds our wants and needs.
To bake bread, or to eat from our own garden, or to drink our own beer, means that we are not adhering to the slavery of big business or big agriculture. Those who own the land own the power, but not if we prepare ourselves to sustain our wants and needs in smaller, personal roles. “No gods, no masters” indeed.
But first, we must learn how to bake bread. We must invest in our dreams and educate ourselves. We must devise process and build. We must learn and become empowered.
Our strength will be our bravery married with knowledge as we design.
Our art is key.
We are living through a revolution that is ending the need for monotonous labor just as it is encouraging independent creativity. We have never before been in a situation where we can create, connect and trade from almost anywhere in the world with such ease and these possibilities will only grow as each new day dawns.
This is the true lifeblood for today’s self sufficient nomads—the digital dharma bums and freewheelin’ millennials.
What an exciting time to be alive, when our aspirations are supported and shared at the touch of a button with so many other like minded eager eyed dreamers!
So—what is your art? What warms you with passion and gets you itching to talk all night in detail?
Surely, this is what you are here to do.
The death of work as toil begins with the decision to involve our passions with play.
Work, as an ethos, is changing quite rapidly.
Technology is allowing people to work from home, from a coffee shop or from a beach front getaway. Freelancing is becoming more and more embedded into mainstream work culture, creating a more efficient work load and simultaneously freeing up our time to enjoy life here on this outstanding planet.
Numbered are the days where office workers toil at their grey desks counting seconds of the clock.
Through our own strengths we can emancipate ourselves from what has becomethe greatest drain on our ability to live a fruitful and fulfilling life.
So, why not grab a pen and paper and write down our passions? Why not forage in the forests of the mind a while and see what it is that we find to follow?
It begins, as ever, with the first seed planted.
Riding a bike is an empowering experience.
It immediately conjures up the rose tinted images of learning to ride for the first time.
That moment when we realize we are no longer being guided, that it is us who are now in control of the steering, the peddling and the balancing.
We instantly achieve independence.
For many, this is the first notable moment that they are being truly self sufficient. It is the first time that they establish their capabilities and consciously or subconsciously connect the dots between will, practice and perseverance.
It truly is a life changing moment.
The same applies for all manner of self sufficient pursuits.
Our dreams can appear impossible when applied with that killjoy of practicality. We can conjure excuses at the drop of a hat that steer us away from risk and reason.
But I have to ask, what of reward? For what do we trade our time when we deny our dreams in favor of practicality?
I myself am a seasoned daydreamer and an aficionado of list making and pottering about. I have a notepad full of projects and ideas that will never come to season, and a head full of new ones ready to write down.
But this is the journey, not the destination.
What is needed is a collaboration.
We have to establish the difference between the impossible and the unlikely and a bond between possible and our ability.
Impossible is a mindset. It is the belief that it cannot be done. Unlikely is its optimistic counterpart—it can be done, we just need to find a way.
I believe that most of our dreams fall into the category of unlikely and, therefore, possible.
That which is possible is only marred by our inability to fathom a path to achievement. This is where the collaboration between dreams and practicality comes in. It is also where a notepad and pen comes in particularly useful!
Establish the destination (the dream) then begin the construction (the practical).
Work backwards, one step at a time. Determine the barriers and then what it would take to break through them. For every road block, explore detours.
Brainstorm options. Deconstruct the dream.
We will find ourselves arriving back to where we are right now, with a blueprint of possibility paved out before us.
You have began to ride your bike for the first time once again.
When I ride my bike, I am free.
It’s a freedom born of philosophy. I am reliant on only my body for traction, my wits for guidance and myself for company. I am also gaining experience, becoming healthier and seeing the world at no cost to me or the world in which I ride.
“If you build castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~ Henry Davis Thoreau
I begin mine by baking bread, making art and riding bikes.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Sion Lidster
Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Sean via Flickr