Reality > Expectations, if you want it to

‘Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out’ – Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s true. Our whole lives we’re told to be goal orientated – we’re told we have to work towards a goal, one day hope to get a job that will make us successful enough to make money to have a car, get married, have children. Live an ordinary life. And so we work for it.

Alternatively, we think that’s not going to be our future – we think that we are going to spend our lives fighting for human rights, and making an impact on this god-forsaken world. But we have the same dilemma, don’t we? We picture our future lives, working for the Human Rights Commission, or something similar, yet we struggle through our present to get there. We tear our hair out. We struggle to find money to live off we don’t know how to get to that ideal, precisely because it’s an ideal.

I promise you, ask people at university WHY they’re here, and I bet 80% of them will tell you it is to improve their future – to get a good job.

Even me. I spend every moment that I don’t have to study or write an essay dreaming about where I’ll be able to travel when I have the money, or my life working for the African Development Bank. I do not “live it the now.”


And that makes me sad.

Another great guy agrees with this testament of “living in the now,” and Mr John Maynard Keynes says “In the long-run, we’ll all be dead.” (LOL sorry to all the economists who are having a heart attack because I took this out of context so dramatically) .

He’s right. So is Holmes. But so what? How is reading those words actually going to change anything Reading words always changes things for me for like a day, and it’s back to procrastination station, it’s back to day-dreaming and shirking the responsibility f today.


Maybe the first thing is realising that controlling our heads is really powerful; and it’s hard work. And it’s the first step. Think about the beauty of the day as you wake up. This about h lucky you are to be on this planet – how lucky it was that hydrogen collided with hydrogen and created helium.

Secondly, try to accept the fact that you’re future won’t necessarily be perfect. Life often gets in the way of our perfect ideas, and other things fall into place. Be versatile. be open to change.

And lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. There are already enough people in this world who are going to criticise and insult you, you need to at least surround yourself with smiles and happy thoughts.