Idle

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. - Victor Hugo


I read an interesting anecdote recently.


"Adam trudged past the gates of Eden, his head low, his feet heavy with remorse and pain.


Then he stopped, spun around and exclaimed, “Wait a minute! You had this all planned! You put that fruit there knowing I would eat from it! This is all a plot!


There was no reply.


Without failure, we can never truly reach into the depths of our souls. Only once we have failed can we return and reach higher and higher without end."


The one simple truth to life is that we can only truly know something by comparison to its opposite.


Or better yet, we can only truly appreciate something by comparison to its opposite.


Life breaks us all. No matter what.


It’s not that we as wanderers are lost, but that we’re in search of something and we can’t possibly go through life unscathed before finding it.


Because life is pain.


Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.  — William Goldman


But that’s not such a bad thing, is it?


Every heartbreak, every failure, every setback… it makes us stronger because only the initial experiences really break us. We know defeat without being defeated.


And the art of life is utilizing all of our experiences for the betterment of our lives.


There’s a victory behind every defeat and a lesson behind the pain and suffering.


It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world. ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden


When I was a month away from my 26th year on this earth last year, I felt numb to the idea.


Why?


Because age is and will always be just a number.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.


I’ve spent several years in recovery from surviving rape, I’ve spent years mourning the loss of my business, and I’ve spent years, unfortunately, and without realizing it, playing the victim.


Ultimately, I look back at the pain and suffering from a sort of nostalgia. Because that which brought me the pain wasn’t an enemy, but a teacher. I had a goal, and accomplishing those goals revealed me to be stronger than I ever thought I was.


And yet, I have much to learn and much further to go. I’m not as strong as I’d like to be for a 26-year-old.


In spite of all that, I have learned that “an idle mind is the devil’s playground.” If I focus on how I feel, I will never get anywhere in life. There’s only one recipe for success, and that’s remembering two things.


  1. Feelings create blind spots.

  1. The ‘secret’ to thriving in life is contained in one phrase:

The shark that does not swim, drowns.” If you don’t move forward, you’ll die and be buried by the depths of your past. Move forward with your life. Now. Even if that life isn’t necessarily what you’d hoped it’d be. Work hard to change your life yet again.


I live with purpose and I accept everything.