You wake up in the morning to find your phone 30cm from your face and your instant reaction is to grab, unlock, scroll. You check for updates whilst you eat your breakfast, whilst you’re on the bus or train going to work, as you travel up the elevator, as you eat lunch, go to the bathroom, wait for the photocopying, sit at a bar, go shopping and even as someone speaks to you directly about something that really matters to them. So why does existence matter if you’re not even conscious to experience it? I mean do we even feel the world around us anymore?
Every day we experience a range of paradoxes as we adapt to a range of situations, emotions, and people. But we’re not all just trying to survive anymore, we’re all trying to be the best at surviving. It’s a never-ending competition in which the end purpose is unknown. What happens when your life is finished? Why compete when we’re all both significant and insignificant? We’re a living paradox all traveling in the same direction, the same end.
Some examples of famous paradoxes:
“It’s weird not to be weird.” – John Lennon
“All generalizations are false, including this one.” – Albert Einstein
So how do we all survive this huge underlying weight sitting upon our shoulders in day-to-day life?
I urge kindness. Acknowledge the bigger perspective…people are successful whilst struggling, happy whilst sad and motivated whilst lost; so why not highlight the good in the world rather than fuel the bad? If someone is mean to you, there is likely a reason that is much bigger than you, and as we all travel towards the same end game, be kind.
I urge forgiveness. You may not want to forgive but for others and for yourself, just forgive even if you do not want to forget. People will do awful things to you but a grudge only hurts you and makes your life a burden, so let go and be free. Heartbreak will come from friends, lovers, parents and even an unsuspecting stranger. Don’t break your own heart too; forgive.
I urge dreaming. I’ve always been scared to fulfill my desires or pursue dreams, but why live a lie? You may not become the most successful or the most famous or the most loved in your passion, but you’ll be the best version of yourself. Funnily enough, by just competing with yourself or trying to improve, you will generally exceed peers by harnessing pure passion, truth, and ambition. Why live with not knowing what could have been?
I urge spontaneity. When you go to sleep, for those hours you experience nothing. No past, no future but the unconsciousness in the present. When life comes to an end, the past is just a continuum of nostalgia and the future is non-existent. So what matters? The present; which is most exciting during the most beautifully spontaneous moments.
Strip back the media, the expectations and the pressure to find the things that mean most to you. I believe in kindness, forgiveness, dreaming and spontaneity, however, you may wish to pursue other avenues. Live in the moment and don’t become a victim of an existential paradox.