“Hey dude, you used to be a really dope painter, what happened? Why did you stop? …What do you do now?”
“I am an accountant.”
“What the fuck? Why? …How did that happen?”
“Well my friends from college kept getting real jobs and I was just chilling, painting. So I decided to get a real job too. I don’t find accounting really interesting. It’s pretty boring, but the good thing is, unlike painting, people actually treat me like I’m a somebody.”
“What made you become a Doctor?”
“Well my parents always pushed me to be a Doctor so yeah, I became a Doctor to make them proud.”
“Oh that’s cool! How do you like it?”
“It’s OK. But my parents are thrilled so that’s good.”
“What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a comedian.”
“Holy shit that’s awesome! What does your day look like?”
“Well I get up at like 10. Fuck around for a bit. I write jokes for 3 hours, practice, and then at night I go to the comedy club and do my act.”
“How did your peers and parents react to the news when you told them you’re going to become a stand up comedian?”
“Ironically, they gave me the reaction us comics crave…they fucking laughed in my face. They said I was insane, and I was never going to make any money.”
“Haha. Are you making any money?”
“To be honest, no. I’m actually having a tough time making ends meet. Plus people don’t really respect you when you’re a struggling comic.”
“I bet. So were they right? Are you insane?”
“I wouldn’t call myself insane for doing what I love.”
“What would you call yourself?”
The three scenarios above were conversations I had with people I met throughout my journey.
I learned quite a bit from these conversations.
My greatest discovery was…
Society is fucked up.
Society labels the accountant and the doctor in the first two scenarios a success, however, they call the comedian in the third scenario a complete failure.
But they have it all wrong.
In my opinion, the comedian, although, he is not successful, is actually the one who is the most successful.
Hear me out.
First of all, the accountant and the doctor are seeking validation. That’s all they’re doing. They’re not doctors and accountants because that’s what they want to do, they’re doctors and accountants because that’s what people told them to be.
They’re fucking copy cats seeking status and validation from others.
They’re fucking robots going along with what others say and do.
But it’s not their fault. They just fell victim to conformity.
You see, society conditions us from the get go to conform, to seek validation, and to do what others are doing.
Society conditions us to exchange our big dreams for mediocre dreams.
Usually, the older a fellow grows, the more he conforms.
He conforms to the standards society sets forth regarding how he is supposed to look, how he is supposed to behave, what type of job he’s supposed to hold, how much money he’s supposed to make etc.
In the process, he forgets who he is.
He loses his sense of self.
He forgets all about his childhood dreams.
He forgets all about his huge ambitions.
He becomes another product of society.
Society chews him up and spits him right out…without giving a single fuck about him or what he wanted out of life.
To society, he’s just another person placed on the assembly line who society will transform from abnormal to normal.
But of course, to the outside world, everything is good.
To the outside world these people are living a perfect life.
They’re doctors and accountants…and society bows at their feet.
But on the inside, some of these people, such as the folks mentioned above, are miserable. They hate their jobs, but they continue to do them because that’s what society told them to do.
That’s the manual society programmed into their mind.
The manual called, “Live a normal and comfortable life.”
These people are considered normal and they make up majority of our world.
But on the flip side, there are a select number of people who aren’t normal.
There are people that society labels to be insane.
Take the comedian for example.
From society’s perspective, this dude is a prime example of someone who has lost his mind.
He has lost it because he hasn’t conformed to the expectations of what type of life he is supposed to lead and as a result he drives society nuts.
“What the fuck is he doing chasing the dream of becoming a comic? Is he nuts? The odds of making it are slim to none. Who the hell does he think he is to go up against such odds?”
Society will always talk bad about the person who hasn’t conformed.
Staying true to your dreams when society is shit talking you is the hardest thing you may ever do, but the comedian in the scenario above has not stopped. He has continued.
The more he continues, the more abnormal he becomes in the eyes of society. The more abnormal he becomes, the more shit society throws in his face.
They laugh in his face and throw dirt on his name.
They label this dude a massive failure without giving him a second thought.
But the crazy thing is, this dude is more successful than 95% of the masses. In fact, he’s probably more successful than you.
No he didn’t make it big. He’s still struggling to make ends meet, but he’s more successful than you and the majority of the masses because…
When the time comes for this dude to die, he’s not going to look back at his life and think, “Fuck, I wonder what would have happened if I had become a comedian? I wonder how different my life would’ve been.”
No he’s not going to say that shit.
Instead, he’s going to go out with a smile, because he ultimately achieved success at the hardest thing one can ever accomplish, he lived life on his terms. He didn’t conform his dreams and ambitions.
He stood up, took a lot of shit in the process, but he did it his way.
So he will die happy.
You know who won’t die happy?
The doctor and the accountant.
They will always wonder what would have happened if they had chased their true dreams. How different would their life would’ve been?
Unfortunately, when they come to grips with this question, it will be too late.
Majority of the people that society labels to be successful will view themselves as failures just before death because death makes you review where you spent your time.
If you didn’t spend your life doing what you wanted, you weren’t a success after all, now were you?
The bottom line is…
In the end, only the insane will prevail.
The insane that chase their own dream and live life on their own terms.
They may not become huge successes, but they will lead extraordinary lives. Mainly because they will live on their own terms. In the end, that’s all you need to do if you want to die with a smile.
On the other hand, the person that lived his life according to the expectations of society will die with regret because he never got the chance to express all the abnormal and insane ideas he kept locked inside his chest. All because he conformed. All because he was too worried about what society would think.
So the question I have for you is…
Aren’t you tired of being normal?
Aren’t you tired of concealing your abnormalities?
If so, are you ready to go “insane” and chase after your true dream, the dream buried deep within you, the one you labelled impossible?
If not now, when?
When you’re on your death bed and grasping for your last breath?
Ha. Good luck with that.
Living a normal life is boring.
Take a stand now or it’s over.
In 100 years, you and everybody you know is going to be dead.
What people thought about you and what people said about you is not going to matter.
In the end, nothing is going to matter…because we’re all going to be six feet under.
So living your life according to someone else’s expectations is truly the dumbest thing you could ever do.
But don’t take my advice for it, continue living your life according to the expectations of others and see where it gets you.
PS. I lied. Something is going to matter in the end. The one thing that’s going to matter in the end is whether or not you did it your way…because the people that do it their way…live on well after they take their last breath.
And oh one more thing before I go…
Don’t live the same year 85 times and call it a life (I jacked this saying from Robin Sharma).