Life should be legendary. Right? (This is a note to myself).
We only have one shot at this, why work on boring things and solve boring problems? Why choose easy? What are we saving for? What are we waiting for? Why settle? Why work on sub-optimal?
I have been asking myself these questions lately – perhaps more than usual – as I have been inspired by various people, essays, and interviews. Perhaps this sounds childish and somewhat naive. Perhaps “legendary” is not the perfect descriptor. But this is the overall direction I am aiming. High.
Before I dive into why I am thinking about this…I will add the disclaimer I always seem to emphasize in my essays – everyone is playing their own game with their own set of rules and challenges. Everyone has their own obstacles and disabilities – often things we cannot see on the outside. My game is not superior to others’ games. Mine is my own.
And my own definition of a “legendary” life surely will evolve over time. The point I am trying to make with this evolution of thought is that I want to work on self-defined epic things. I want to tackle massive problems.
I want to climb Everest – my own Everest.
Now I understand success starts small. Really small and niche and focused. I get that. Start in square one.
But I also get that we really only have one chance to do something epic-ly impossible. We only have one really really small chance, that is, to make an outsized impact and do something worth remembering.
Motivations change. Sure. Circumstances change. Of course.
What does not really change, what cannot really change, is this conquer the world mindset. To dare to be really great. To be just crazy enough…to tackle every problem in front of you. At the same time, you need immense focus. It is a delicate balance.
The problem, though, is that I find many opportunities to settle along the way. There are many basecamps and side tents that are comfortable along this hike.
I can pause for any of these types of careers and potentially stunt this trip.
Some of these look particularly attractive. They look fun and simple. They make me happy – and those around me give me validation from them.
But they are not what I want in the long term. They are not what I want to look back on.
Tackling legendary problems takes a ton of time, hard work, and focus. Simply writing these big words does not get me there. What it does do though, is remind me not to settle. Not to stop. To just keep swimming and hustling and to truly enjoy the journey <- not because I have to, but because I know I want to.
Also published on Medium.