It’s 35 degrees in Melbourne and I’m sitting on the couch questioning my mortality.
And not just because I feel like I’m being slow cooked alive.
Why do we endure and struggle through life’s daily battles, only to be forgotten after we are gone? How come we don’t just throw caution to the wind and learn how to skydive, parachute, deep-sea dive, travel or do anything else that is on our bucket list? Instead of doing the things we love, we meander through our daily existence, eyes half closed and wondering if anybody will remember us when we are gone.
Some people bear the brunt of the rat race because it’s all they know. Others simply hope their memory will linger in the minds of children and grandchildren, before finally becoming a whisper in the night. However, more aspirational others dream bigger; they shoot for the stars and apply single-minded focus and a ‘tear your heart out’ competitive spirit to everything they do.
Their legacy will be their accumulative body of work.
Trying to leave a legacy, whether it’s through publicly acknowledged accomplishments or the children you leave behind can drive a person to depression, anxiety and the bottle.
It can leave you wondering what YOUR legacy will be. Will anybody remember you once you are gone or, like those embedded in the rat race of life, will your 9-5 existence be stamped out when Death comes calling?
Unfortunately for so many living in the technologically driven 21st century, their only proof of existence once they are gone may be their still active Facebook profile.
Unless we change how we think, unless we erase from our minds the necessary need to leave a legacy or a lasting footprint on the history books. Instead, we must focus on being present in the moment and absorbing the world around us.
Take five minutes each day, twice if you have time, and meditate or at least turn off your electronic devices and focus on your breathing. Listen to the world around you, the sounds of your breathing and your heart beating in your chest. Draw inwards so that you can look outwards with greater clarity.
(Wow that was surprisingly profound.)
Regularly lift heavy and with fervour. Ever tried deadlifting double your bodyweight for reps? If you have, then you’d agree that, when lifting heavy, you are intimately aware of every move, breath and twitch of your body.
You don’t care about what people will say about you when you are pushing daisies- you just want to lift the damned weight.
Find your passion and pursue it. There is nothing more woeful than a person without a passion. Whether it is travel or crocheting, if you love it, do it. Don’t let other people take your passion away from you by making your choices for you.
Learn how to cook properly and well. Two-minute noodles don’t count- even if I once worked with a mate who screwed them up. Steak, salmon, potatoes, vegetables and one or two nice desserts are a must. You don’t need to be Jamie Oliver, incessantly shouting everything you do whilst buzzing around like a rabbit on DMAA and Red Bull.
Cooking, and getting into the flow, will embed you in the present, removing doubts about the future and your legacy.
Just remember to clean as you go- otherwise the only thing you’ll see afterwards is a mound of dishes.
There is one thing all four of these examples have in common. They all involve getting into the flow (which I’ll blog about in greater detail later)- that mythical, mystical place where you feel as if you can’t be wrong.
Others know it as the zone, and the more time you spend in it, the less time you’ll spend worrying about your legacy and mortality.
Even if it is 35 degrees outside and your being par-boiled in the shower.