Monday, March 14, 2011
It's the same thing your whole life: "Clean up your room. Stand up straight. Pick up your feet. Take it like a man. Be nice to your sister. Don't mix beer and wine, ever." Oh yeah: "Don't drive on the railroad track."
I saw Groundhog Day again a month ago, and this quote really stuck with me. Though you probably shouldn't get blackout drunk and play chicken with a train, I think Phil Connors was on to something.
If you're anything like me, you probably have people either ordering you around all day, or at least telling you what you "should" do. A lot of times, people comply with these suggestions without asking a simple question: why? A lot of times, the answer is something like, "because it's my job," or "I don't want to disappoint them." In the case of your job, I would suggest if you're only doing something for money, that's just not fucking good enough.
"But D.J., I need money to pay for my house/car/kid's education." I completely agree—money helps you buy a lot of things. But you don't really want to accumulate cash—you want the house/car/your kids to not have to worry about financing their educations. Money is just a means to an end. If you're doing something just to accumulate a pile of cash without any idea what you want to do with the money, you're probably wasting your fucking time.
The reason I say this is that people do a lot of things just for money without question. Even when coming up with goals, people fail to ask "why" far too often. Do you really want to buy that house, or do you want it because you're supposed to buy a house? Do you want to buy that new car to get around town, or because you want to impress people/pick up chicks? Do you really want to (GASP!) have kids, with all of the responsibilities that come along with it?
Everyone obviously has responsibilities, and that's certainly fine. Responsibilities help give your life a purpose, and make you an honorable person by keeping you accountable for your actions. But responsibilities that you don't really want or need can keep you chained down and prevent you from leading the life you want. Don't do anything just because you "should" do it. Ask yourself the tough questions. Do I really want to do this? Why am I doing this again? What's the end game? If you can't answer these questions with something that is important to you at your core, you have a lot of thinking to do.
Questions? Comments? Wondering how my generation can be so "entitled"? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on twitter @djgelner.