It will work out

This essay is simply a message to my future self. As you will see, these thoughts are quite optimistic, and perhaps naive. They are not rooted in science, just personal anecdote.

Things will work out. 

When I hit rock bottom, which I know I will at some point in my life, I must recognize that things will work out. Trying to think back to the very lowest points of my life – sick camping in the middle of the Israeli desert, depressed after failing an exam, stranded in central Vietnam – is anything *that* bad? I am fortunate, grateful, and understanding of my circumstance.

The worst worst case, as I have written about before, is not so bad. I am lucky to say that. Most of the world does not have the luxury. Most people in the history of the world, any era, would not be able to say that. *That* is amazing. I did not *do* anything to deserve that. I was just luckily born into a place that afforded me conveniences *and* necessities.

And when I get to the bottom…when I fall..I must remember that things work out. Things work out because the world keeps spinning.

The economy crashes. The media worries. The apocalypse is coming.

And we all wake up tomorrow with new things to think about.

Then the economy skyrockets. The media is happy. And there is no apocalypse in sight.

What then?

It is a relatively humbling feeling knowing that tomorrow happens without my input. Cities move. People live – independent of me. This of course sounds obvious. But it is interesting to internalize. What does that mean for my actions? What does that mean for how I make decisions?

Why conform? If the machine will work regardless of my input…why even contribute? What is the incentive? Social acceptance? (Seems like a modern take on culture)?

Then how do I leave my mark? How do I actually contribute to the world (and why do I want to in the first place)?

Perhaps better put…how do I use this luxury I have – being born into a time with internet and into a culture that rewards working on problems and compensates you for it! This is a magical time to be alive. 

Is the mentality “things will work out” too comforting? Should I be saying that “things will not work out” unless I do something…

I think holding both opinions is valuable (and valid). I need both – one to remind me that I need to keep running, the other to tell me it is okay if I make a wrong turn.

Also published on Medium.