Thinking is a problem.
Humans are considered an intelligent species because we can think and reason. We are able to think in order to make sense of our lives, to articulate an argument, to reason out the pros and cons of any impending action.
René Descartes, the French philosopher, once said, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am). To him, thought cannot be separated from human existence. Thought is therefore the essence of life.
For me, that is the problem.
Thinking, for all its powers of reasoning and intellect, dampens the true human spirit. Thinking makes us pause before we jump. It stops us before we get too spontaneous. It warns us of the dangers of taking too much risk.
It stops us from really living.
Our hearts are free-spirited, unlike our brains. And it is our hearts’ desires that feed our souls and help us reach true happiness.
Because of its free-spirited nature, the heart could often be unreasonable, unpredictable in its wants, impulsive in its needs, reckless in its abandonment.
In fact, I think this desire in wanting something really unreasonable is why it is so satisfying when the heart gets what it wants.
You may, on a whim, want to suddenly live in Hawaii. This may sound unreasonable if you’re already struggling to make ends meet in Malaysia, but because of that, that dream becomes much more desirable.
Once our heart wants something, it will not be settled until it gets it. No matter what obstacles are in the way. No matter what destruction it might entail. Nero burnt down Rome so that he could rebuild it according to his liking (Sources say he played the fiddle while Rome was burning).
So, do you follow your heart? Even though this follow-your-heart thing without thinking and regard of the consequences may sound supremely irresponsible? Or is irresponsibility a necessary ingredient in chasing your heart’s wildest desires?
Would life really be full of free exploration of our desires if we didn’t have reckless abandonment of self-made worries?
But, our brain stops this reckless abandonment. We try to not cause destruction by jumping on a hippy bandwagon of love because we want to keep everyone else happy. Even though we end up making ourselves unhappy. This is the classic argument of a free spirit versus a careful thinker.
In today’s definitions of success, the careful thinker rules even though the history of the world has been punctuated regularly with paradigm-shifting milestones made by free-spiriters chasing those moments of love and magic. We forget that serving our heart has gotten us here. Instead, we put in rules and thoughts to govern our actions. Worse, we prioritise these rules so that we don’t have any unexpected surprises. Even though life should be all about unexpected surprises.
So, when we face a life-changing opportunity to chase a crazy dream, most of us tell ourselves the biggest lie.
“It’s not the right time.”
Why do we wait for the right time? Is there a right time? Why do we need to worry what might happen if it’s the wrong time? The path you think you see ahead of you if you take that plunge is usually not realistic because it’s based on what you know now. Many times if you trod down a new path, or take a different corner, you will face a new situation you never could imagine before. So, why are you imagining the what-ifs now?
Do. And life will clear a new path for you.
If you don’t turn the corner, how would you know what magic (or hell) could be waiting for you?
I always like to say: “Take big risks! We could reach amazing glory or go down in blazing flames. Either way, we’ll feel alive.”
Nowadays, sadly, it’s more lip service. Yes, I’ve jumped through fires in my early years. But, in my 40s, I have begun to jump less.
That’s ironic because it’s in your 40s that you realise what you REALLY want in life, and if you’re lucky enough, some of you may even get an opportunity to chase a dream you never thought possible.
Tragically, by this time, you’re already comfortable. You “can’t take risks”. You might lose this or that. And, before you know it, the opportunity is gone forever.
Don’t wait. Trust me, don’t wait.
Life is short. Love hard. Try the impossible. Be the person you always knew you’d be. Take that risk and jump. Life might give you a new set of circumstances you never would have imagined, but it would make you more alive than ever.
Someone wise once said: “You only have one life to live. But, if you do it right, one is all you need.”
Ahmad Izham Omar works in the production of TV, film and music content, and gets panicky trying to figure out his next tweet