Will you die from an overdose of satisfaction?
The delightful Paolo Coelho quotes Salvador Dali in his blog today. I deduce that Dali is an artist. But you and I are probably more interested in his attitude to life.
“The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant. At the age of six years I wanted to be a chef. At the age of seven I wanted to be Napoleon. My ambitions have continued to grow at the same rate ever since. Every morning when I awake, the greatest of joys is mine: that of being Salvador Dali. There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.”
Do your ambitions continue to grow? Do you like being you?
I am pretty sure you do. I’ve never met anyone whose eyes don’t light up when we acknowledge their existence.
But so many of us are trying to be someone whom we are not. We are exhausted by our constant pretending.
It’s so much easier to look at each day and marvel at the moments when we were just doing what brings us alive. We can put aside the long commutes and grubby trains. We can put aside the dentist’s chair. As we pick our way through the rubbish tip of western life much as a small child does on the rubbish dumps of third world cities, we can still find time to celebrate not only what fascinates us but that we are fascinated at all.
Can we celebrate being us and not airbrush ourselves out of the picture leaving only the rubbish dump for the world to see? Hey this is us. Why should we bring our lives down to the tip around us? I nearly said, “sorry not me”. But I am not even going to give that possibility that much airtime. I’m too busy.
Put rubbish in the rubbish bin where it belongs
I say to university students, “when something is rubbish, pick it up and put it in the rubbish bin where it belongs. And move along.” They are always so relieved. They think they are obliged to honor rubbish. They aren’t. They just have to bin it. With gusto and applomb.
They are too busy and too interesting to waste time on refuse. That belongs on the dump.
Have your ambitions being growing at the same rate – chef at 6, Napolean at 7? If not, then it is time to bring your life alive!