Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Defining The Pursuit of Awesome: Part 1
All scoffing aside though, The Pursuit of Awesome is mostly a term I've long given to the process of a life spent working towards live's bigger goals, overcoming obstacles and living the kind of life in which the terms, conditions, rules and manifestos are set by me and me alone.
(and, I guess, by trivial matters such as the laws of gravity and what have you)
The Pursuit of Awesome is the guttural instinct which rages in the roaring fire in my belly, it's the burning desires of foreign travel and rewarding careers and a life spent simultaneously doing the things that make me happy and which make a positive impact on some part of the world which all race through my mind at any given moment. The Pursuit of Awesome is, ultimately, knowing in the pit of one's heart that there is more to be gained and to give in the world, and working towards those things.
I pursue dreams and work towards goals not out of a lust for material possessions, wealth or power, but rather because of a simple and, yes, morbid fact:
One day I will die.
I would of course prefer this not to happen for a very long time (or at all, if I'm being totally honest), but it's going to happen whether I like it or not. When the unavoidable and unwelcome event does occur, I would like to be able to lie on my death bed (or at the bottom of the ocean, or underneath the wheels of a truck, or wherever I happen to be) and look back over my years safe in the knowledge that I not only did I live a valuable, worthwhile life, but that I had an absolute blast in doing so.
I'd love to be able to tell you that the idea for The Pursuit of Awesome was born of some catastrophic, near-death experience which changed my whole life and way of thinking and forced me to take action.
The truth, however, is far less exciting.
The truth is simply that The Pursuit of Awesome made much more sense to me than the lives I saw everybody else leading around me.
Even today I find myself often surrounded by people who openly and passionately loathe what they do for a living. These are people I know to have skills and talents, who are incredibly intelligent and could follow whatever dream they chose, more likely than not with more success than I've enjoyed so far.
And yet they choose not to. Apart from fleeting moments of boredom and despair when they talk fancifully about perhaps starting their own business or changing career, I often get the feeling that these folks view goals as things which only happen to other people.
Instead they leave them by the wayside to continue rolling into work, day in, day out, working with people they don't like all that much to carry out a job they despise all because that's what you're supposed to do.
You're supposed to get an education, get a job, get married, buy a house, furnish it with nice things, have kids, go away once or twice a year, always to the same place and so on until either death or retirement, which ever takes you first.
And that's fair enough.
Please understand that I'm not judging these people. If they want to spend most of their time doing something despise, or spend their time jumping out of aeroplanes or running around naked or whatever it is they decide to do with the very limited time they have on this blue-green planet we call Earth, then good luck to them. Who am I to tell them they should do things differently?
All I'm saying is that to me, spending your time doing something which makes you miserable just doesn't make any sense.
Nor does it make any more sense that after a week spent toiling away at work and then coming home to sit in front of the sofa, watch TV and bitch and moan about how terrible work is, the only way to drown away all the resentment and hatred of their job by hitting the local bar and downing pint after pint of alcohol until you eventually wake up the following morning feeling even worse than before with a pounding head, rumbling belly and much less money than you'd had the night before.
I've got to be honest, that just doesn't sound like much fun at all.
It doesn't seem like much fun to spend my evenings watching soap operas or The X-Factor or that one where Z-List celebrities go to the jungle and munch kangaroo testicles for a laugh.
It doesn't seem like much fun to always take my two-week summer break in a nice safe, reliable place like Spain, where I can take all the money I saved working a job I loathe and spend it on lying on beaches and getting drunk enough to forget the fact that I hate my job.
It doesn't seem like much fun either, to accept that this is the way it has to be, because I know it doesn't. It just can't be. Again, I'm not judging the way anybody else leads their life, just saying that I know in my heart what is fun, and valuable, and worthwhile to me, and that most of the above stuff ain't it.
Instead of all that stuff, I choose The Pursuit of Awesome: Taking a path in which I decide what makes me happy, what work is worth doing and what will add value to the world at large, and setting out to achieve them.
So that's the definition, the reason behind The Pursuit of Awesome. Over the next couple of weeks I'll talk more about why this is important to me, how I go about it, and where it's led me so far.
I hope you'll join me.