Mary: Let me ask you something. Why are you alive?
John Preston: I’m alive… I live… to safeguard the continuity of this great society. To serve Libria.
Mary: It’s circular. You exist to continue your existence. What’s the point?
John Preston: What’s the point of your existence?
Mary: To feel. ‘Cause you’ve never done it, you can never know it. But it’s as vital as breath.And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock… ticking.
Let me elaborate a bit about the blog.
The previous record was intended to show what the blog would be about. Turned out the main impression was not shared precisely: work, sports, hobbies – these are all my ways to express the reason I started this blog. My wish to share my passion for LIFE. The ever-present thirst for it. The wish to have more of real, strong, no-kidding, bright, juicy, meaningful life around me, to observe every second of it mindfully and return it enhanced, improved and multiplied back to people I get in contact with, to my work, to my personal projects.
LIFE – the essence of it all, the reason and the purpose, the target and the vital force behind the humming jet rotating somewhere inside.
The quote from “Equilibrium” hit me when the movie was released, in 2002, helped me to identify in words what I’ve felt for the lifetime before that. Defined my lifeline.
There are other quotes I would like to share though. I’ve collected them at my Facebook page, they remain there berried under daily flows of statuses, pictures shared, chats.
Let me carry them out here to be shared.
Let me know if any triggered any association or a thread of thoughts in your minds.
A group of alumni got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee. After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, THAT is the source of your problems and stress.”
“Be assured that the cup itself adds no real quality to the coffee. In most cases, it’s just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other’s cups.”
“Now consider this: Life is the coffee. . .and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Life is the coffee, not the cups … enjoy your coffee.”
ISIAH 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you
from Born to Run – about long runs
“I never really discussed this with anyone because it sounds pretentious, but I started running ultras to become a better person,” Jenn told me. “I thought if you could run one hundred miles, you’d be in this Zen state. You’d be the fucking Buddha, bringing peace and a smile to the world. It didn’t work in my case—I’m the same old punk-ass as before—but there’s always that hope that it will turn you into the person you want to be, a better, more peaceful person. “When I’m out on a long run,” she continued, “the only thing in life that matters is finishing the run. For once, my brain isn’t going blehblehbleh all the time. Everything quiets down, and the only thing going on is pure flow. It’s just me and the movement and the motion. That’s what I love—just being a barbarian, running through the woods.”
Mcdougall, Christopher (2009-05-04). Born to Run
the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life
Steve Jobs: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Gift from the Sea quote
We are all, in the last analysis, alone. And this basic state of solitude is not something we have any choice about. It is, as the poet Rilke says, “not something that one can take or leave. We are solitary. We may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so. That is all. But how much better it is to realize that we are so, yes, even to begin by assuming it. Naturally,” he goes on to say, “we will turn giddy.” Naturally. How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it.
Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.
Parting is inevitably painful, even for a short time. It is like an amputation, I feel. A limb is being torn off, without which I shall be unable to function. And yet, once it is done, I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow
Gift from the Sea
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932.
The best poetry about running
I’ve collected footsteps before dawn,
seen places I never knew existed,
run to the moon and back,
been a rabbit for the neighborhood dogs,
obeyed the voice in my head,
let music carry me when I couldn’t,
raced against yesterday,
let the world be my witness,
measured myself in metres, kilometres and finally character.
I’ve plugged into a higher purpose,
left this world and come back changed.
I am addicted.”
(c) The Nike Addicted ad
Happy people are almost always the ones who love what they do. It’s been shown again and again that people who love what they do are highly motivated by their own enthusiasm to continually better themselves and their performance. They are good listeners and have a sharp learning curve. In addition happy workers are creative, charismatic, easy to be around and good team players
Unhappy people, on the other hand, are often held back by their own misery or stress, which distracts them from success. Rigid, stressed-out people are a drag to be around and difficult to work with. They are the ones who lack motivation because they are so consumed with their own problems, lack of time and stress Unhappy people often feel victimized by others and their working conditions. It’s difficult for them to be solution-oriented because everything is seen as someone else’s fault. In addition they are usually poor team players because they are often self-centered and preoccupied with their own issues. They are defensive and, almost always, poor listeners.
(c) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work by Richard Carlson
When somebody complains they work hard, feel wiped out and don’t feel it gets them anywhere, I wish I could quote: “Work equals the force (F) applied to an object times the distance (D) that object moves in the direction of the force applied. Dig that part at the end: in the direction of the force applied. You can wear yourself out pushing on the door marked “pull,” and you haven’t, as far as the scientist is concerned, done any work at all” (c) by Mallett, Jef . Trizophrenia: Inside the Minds of a Triathlete
Let’s just anticipate that we (all of us) will disappoint ourselves somehow in the decade to come. Go ahead and let it happen. Let somebody else be a better mother than you for one afternoon. Let somebody else go to art school. Let somebody else have a happy marriage, while you foolishly pick the wrong guy. (Hell, I’ve done it; it’s survivable.) While you’re at it, take the wrong job. Move to the wrong city. Lose your temper in front of the boss, quit training for that marathon, wolf down a truckload of cupcakes the day after you start your diet. Blow it all catastrophically, in fact, and then start over with good cheer. This is what we all must learn to do, for this is how maps get charted—by taking wrong turns that lead to surprising passageways that open into spectacularly unexpected new worlds. So just march on. Future generations will thank you—trust me—for showing the way, for beating brave new footpaths out of wonky old mistakes.
Fall flat on your face if you must, but please, for the sake of us all, do not stop.
Map your own life.
Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed (both Viking).