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Walk Blindly and Carry a Big Mind...

I never understood boredom. There are simply too many things to do with the little amount of time we have on this rotating sphere of a planet.

Maybe it was that Mark Twain quote that I read: 

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

One day I sat down considered the hypothetical scenario of having one day left on this planet, and and started making a list of everything I wanted to do before I died:

  • climb a mountain
  • master a musical instrument
  • invent something that helps people
  • become fluent in a second language 
  • launch a non-profit
  • manage my own business
  • bungy jump
  • run a marathon
  • read more books
  • travel the world
  • go skydiving
  • ....

Then I got to highschool, my goals got a little more ambitious and specific:

  • run for president of the student council
  • become a state champion wrestler
  • get accepted into an IVY
  • ... blah blah blah

Of course I did not attain all of these. Goals aren't always meant to be achieved, but they are something to strive for - to keep me moving in a direction. It's that inner voice that I started listening to and since then, I never felt a moment of boredom. But I find that the more I challenge myself, the hungrier I get..

Ski Tuckerman Ravine

What I actually propose is the willingness to walk blindly into an experience with no fear or hesitation. Conservative forces like fear, self-doubt, diffidence, comfort, and conformity can suade you into thinking your dreams are unattainable. That old fashioned HARD WORK wont get you there, so you should just slow down and accept this truth. 

There is no time to waste, to falter, or to rest. Sleep is the only period of our lives where dreams fall into our lap. We don't have much time on this Earth and we have a responsibilty to create that sense of purpose by pursuing that ultimate vision we have. 

I envision a world where things aren't handed to us - but worked for and earned. People and technology have "progressed" to the point where life has become too easy and one has to more or less create their own problems just to find a sense of purpose. Our lives have become so complicated that perhaps our progressive society is not actually progression at all.  

Think about a typical commuter heading to work: wake up, pop your toast, brew your Keurig, relocate yourself to a remote desk somewhere, repeat yesterday, drive home, spend whatever time you have left with your sense of a family, perhaps shut your eyes for a bit. Do it again. There's your life mapped out for you. Complacency.  Predictability. Monotony. Is that what you want?

Its no wonder why people try to pop this comfort bubble to do things like go camping in the woods, sign up for Tough Mudder endurance races, climb mountains - its a quest to return to that primitive chase and reward that evolved man through time - to re-awaken those primitive survival instincts. Challenges require work, work brings a sense of reward, reward inspires personal gratification, and identifies our purpose in this life. How great is a s'more after you have carved your own stick and slow-roasted a marshmellow over the fire? I rest my case. 

So I'm asking you to find that which motivates you, pursue that next challenge, and disturb that peace.   

So what are three things I believe in most?

1) Fitnessessity.

Nothing keeps your mind in check like the physical. I believe that if you can conquer your body, you can conquer the world. Find me one person who will look at a person who radiates the determination with their physical form in check and tell them there is something they can not do.

For me it all started in middle school. I started doing pushups every night until I had put on some muscle mass. Six years later I was captain of the varsity wrestling team. Now I'm in college and I run marathons and endurance races because I want to see what I am capable of. This summer I am competing in my first Ironman Triathlon, a race of 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and a 26.2 miles run through the Adirondack Mountains of Lake Placid, NY. First conquer your self, then your potential is limitless. 

2) Naturally Giving A Shit

I've always enjoyed nature ever since my father took me on my first hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I believe the simplicity and peace of time spent outdoors clears the mind. But it wasn't until I started traveling and reading that I started noticing how careless some people are with this planet. My freshman year of college I did my major engineering design project on re-orgainizing the waste management system of Boston. Studying abroad in Australia enabled me to step outside my american mentality and I took one of those ecological footprint calculators in an Environmental Sustainiability class to learn that if everyone on the planet lived with my perceived-to-be-enlightened American lifestyle, they would need still need 7 planet Earths to sustain the population. I started getting really frustrated, digging up more research on waste management systems across the globe, criticizing our government, warning of global warming, and taking responsibility for global imperialism. I read a book called Confessions of an Economic Hitman and it blew my mind.

But no matter how hard I tried to tell my American friends about the ignorance of their americo-centric  lifestyle, they would laugh. So how do I respond? I conclude that I'll just do my part - be a leaders, and let others catch on. I bring a thermis to Dunkin Donuts to fill up my coffee, and I keep a Nalgene with me at all times. I bring a backpack when I'm grocery shopping and I ride my bike 35 miles each way to work when I'm not carpooling because of the rain. Just because our country consumes THREE QUARTERS of the worlds energy, it does not mean we need to conform to a profligate lifestyle.  

3) Adventure 

I belive that the only way we can grow - mentally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, morally - any way at all - is if we step outside our current routine to enter a new mode of thought. I believe that we should never be unwilling to learn another's way of life and consider how their values shape their end result. I have been fortunate enough to start traveling the world at a young age. I spent a month is Costa Rica learning Spanish, explored the green fields of Ireland, spent time with a host family in Spain, backpacked Iceland with a college roommate, traveled through Australia and New Zealand for an academic semester. The best way to travel is to travel alone, and to dive in when you have no other restrictions to stop you.

How about mentally, to be willing to consider another's idea without the stubborn bias of your own to shut it down. Perhaps that shows wisdom - the ability to entertain a thought without letting it transform your own believes. Intellectual curiousity will never let you bore. So I read. I practice foreign languages. I try to dabble with instruments. Pick one and make it yours. 

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