Sometimes in life we find ourselves so busy with our day-to-day existences that we, as people, forget what the larger picture is really about. We get so enwrapped in getting by and surviving that we forget the reasons we fight so hard to stay alive and we lose sight of the things, the countless, wondrous things, that make life on this planet more than just tolerable, but enjoyable.
You see, the joys of life don't lie in work, in money, or even the pursuit of knowledge, but in the reasons we invest so heavily in those things. All of the skills we have, all of the knowledge we hold and all of the tools we can use are meaningless unless we can use them to make ourselves more happy or make the world around us a better place. If we're not doing that, then we're not living. Instead, we're dying, or rather, just waiting for death to come and put us out of our misery.
I've never looked a man's wealth or a man's mind to determine how he's spent his life, I've looked at his smile. I've looked smiling idiots in the face and wondered, endlessly wondered, what he can teach me, what his secret to life is. For all of my knowledge, for all of my work, I've learned nothing about happiness. I've read hundreds of books, torn through thousands of articles and studied the things we intellects study only to find all of these things bereft of any mention of the word "happiness."
No one, not scholars sitting in their ivory towers or CEOs in their posh offices, can teach you a thing about happiness you can't find within yourself. The true measures of life, the joys we feel and the things we achieve, cannot be learned from anyone or anything. Rather, they come from studying yourself. They come from picking through the rubble of a heartbreak, they come from learning your own skills and abilities, but, most importantly, they come from searching your heart, digging deep within yourself and finding the strength to overcome your obstacles, big and small, and finding the will to be come something greater than the sum of your parts.
Any one can point to a pile of money, any one can spout tomes of knowledge and any one can do the grind just to get by, but only a select few, a rare, beautiful few, have what it takes to search themselves, stare at themselves in the mirror and truly like what they see. Life isn't measured in the mind, the wallet or the back, but in the heart. It's measured in love for oneself, for others and for one's principles. It's measured in the guts to stand up for what one believes, the willingness to take the chance and reach beyond what mortals are supposed to achieve and the strength to challenge one's own demons and slay them all one by one.
Life is truly a beautiful thing, but only if start measuring it the way it was meant to be. If you let society, if you let your family and if you let the world tell you what your goals should be, how you'll be the happiest, then life, the greatest thing you have, will be meaningless, just an existence between birth and death of no value to any one or anything.
That is a fate I will not stand for nor a destiny I will ever beat a path toward. My life is my own and yours is your own. You should live it as such and not let the measuring stick of others be your guide. Others may have more money than you, others may be smarter than you, but, if you control your destiny, follow your dreams and open your heart, no one will ever be happier than you.
Because, even as the money others have saved is spent and the knowledge of the wisest men is turned to dust in the winds of change, the joys you had, the joys you brought others and the joys you left behind will still be thriving strong, echoing, for all time in the universe that surrounds.
If you measure your life accordingly, you'll see what I mean. If you don't, well, all I can do is pity you before I go about my life, which I'm going to continue living the way it was meant to be lead. My way.