Are you satisfied or just settled?

It used to be true - that our survival instinct is our single greatest source of inspiration. And we must apologize to both Charles Darwin and capitalism, because what they fought to explain and very much rightfully so - free competition -, is no longer the standing pillar of the struggle of human existence.

This is a new world. This world gives such quick access to basic needs, that our middle class looks like the priesthood of the Victorian Era. Just have a look around and smell the saturation - you can get anything for the price of nothing. And just as the billionaire businessman and 45th president of the USA, Donald Trump, used to say: “It is a beautiful thing.” It truly is, no jokes around it.

However, our happiness is trembling just as much, and we are simply not feeling the utopia that we were promised and expecting. It seems as if we are feeling just as lost and unfulfilled as our ancestors. You don’t have to trust me on that, just look in the mirror, at your parents, or simply anyone you know. Who is living the dream around you? Who is satisfied and not just settled?

At the top of Abraham Maslow’s infamous pyramid of motivation lies a little something.

It must be understood that Maslow’s pyramid is a pyramid for a reason: you can’t get to the top level without completing all of the other levels. And if the history up to the 20th century fought for the basic needs and the psychological needs, then our times fight for touching a whole new sky: “achieving one’s full potential, including creative abilities”.

But the poor year of this pyramid – 1943 – has found itself between the humble years of the beginning of the psychological field, and that is why, nowadays, the top level is reformulated into “living out of your passion, talent or expertise”.

It’s an understatement, but people kind of fear themselves. We fear that we don’t have the potential to make our dreams come true, so we just stop trying, thinking that we wouldn’t have made it anyway. We fear that others couldn’t do it, and who are we to claim that we can. No one is telling us that we are better, or stronger, more resilient or more courageous, so how could we ever be? The answer is that we couldn’t be and probably aren’t, but that is the case for everyone else. It’s not about being better, it’s about thinking that you deserve to be better and get better. If there is one truth, then it is that we accept only what we think we deserve.

It’s an understatement, but people kind of fear themselves. We fear that we don’t have the potential to make our dreams come true, so we just stop trying, thinking that we wouldn’t have made it anyway. We fear that others couldn’t do it, and who are we to claim that we can. No one is telling us that we are better, or stronger, more resilient or more courageous, so how could we ever be? The answer is that we couldn’t be and probably aren’t, but that is the case for everyone else. It’s not about being better, it’s about thinking that you deserve to be better and get better. If there is one truth, then it is that we accept only what we think we deserve.

That is undisputedly and undoubtedly a matter of fact. Lying to yourself that you have no distinct potential is a lazy dead end that will lead you, obviously I must say, to nowhere but a life just like any other. It should be a crime to have this kind of a soul and live as if you are soulless. But let’s stop this rabbit hole (rabbits just poop too much, don’t you think?) and come closer to a happy end: you’ve admitted to yourself, after months or even years of searching, meditating, debating, studying, trying and retrying, researching the world around you, that your endeavor of finding yourself, because you must have been a little lost, has reached its goal: you’ve found your passion, your both deepest and highest desire.

“Love, passion, obsession, all those things you told me to wait for…well, they’ve arrived.”

– Susan Parrish, “Meet Joe Black”, 1998.

What I feel that I want and need is only mine to feel. It has always been. Find peace in what you’ve always known your path were. This truth feels warm and kind, and the light of life hasn’t arrived, because it’s always been buried inside of you. It’s maybe the only truth that can be found both in an old Buddhist textbook and a Stephen Hawking speech.

Speaking of Stephen Hawking, one of his quotes truly proves a great point in the last step of this journey of leaving self-fulfilled: the free will matter; the way things work out under people’s influence; and how far our motivation goes.

"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."

- Stephen Hawking.


articol scris de Ilona Dragomir

fotograf: Sophia Lopotaru