Living Real and True

“They have nothing planned out,” a colleague quipped of recent. “There’s nothing they intend doing, so why won’t they while away with these stuffs…”

The comment above was in response to an accusation that some set of people were the cause of distraction in a particular gathering. This colleague of mine reasoned that it isn’t logical to be dissuaded from being a part of a particular gathering, given that the meet should be a filling place for those that are just shells.

I agree with my colleague, and on the other hand, I hope to present a different approach.

We’ve reached the tail of a continuum where the successful are defined by how much they can manage, the extent of fine-tuning of their talents, fidelity in handling large-scale projects, effectiveness, teamwork, work ethic, blah, blah, blah…

And there are the unsuccessful (note that I didn’t say failed, for failure should as well be a stepping stone for success) who have no life plan, who are not honing their talents, who are afraid to take risks, rather preferring to idle away for fear of being slammed in the face. They dread the response, “you must be kidding.”

In actual truth though, is there a difference between the two categories?

I love skilled people. I’m often amazed at their adroitness. I admit that there’s the need to self-develop daily. Daily. No matter the finesse of talents, it always should be honed. Practice is a norm for the hardworking. Anyone who thinks he has arrived should watch, less he be swept aside in the wave of a hand.

However, does these criteria define success or life-plan? That I sometimes write about 4,000 words per day means I’m successful? Years back, when I had a deep interest in music, I learnt of a flutist (the fastest in the world as at then) who rehearsed twelve hours every day.

That’s something I’ve never seen any writer do – and I’m searching.

But whose success should we seek? By whose measures should we define success?

A man life consists not in the abundance of the things he possess*, says a Man, who in a later chapter gave a parable that ran sixteen verses with the objective of sowing and working hard.*

If we are then to live knowing that we aren’t the achievements, the fine-tuning, the accolades, the awards, the goals fulfilled, are we supposed to just sit and watch? Play games? Be couch potatoes?

Verily not. The whole essence of work is that we may be like our Father. If God had not been a worker, I guarantee that no man would work. So working in itself isn’t the wrong means to an end.

Our focus should be fixed on something. As a writing mentor puts it, “everything is sandcastle.” If you’ve been to the beach, you’d know the efforts invested in building even a normal sandcastle. Yet, it doesn’t take the waves five seconds to wash it off.

That’s the apt description of life. We are to build those sandcastles, alright, but with an inscription in the back of our minds – that we are not defined by those things.

And the world has gotten this so wrong, because, well, they are the world. If you are a son of your Father, you know you should reorient your definition of success and life plans. For in the end, life plans would lead to one of two places.

That is exactly what we should work more on. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth*.

It’s the definition of Living True. And you should live true.

References: Luke 12: 15, Luke 19: 12-27, Colossians 3:2.

Afterword: I’m presently in my second year of an unending journey to learn the art of storytelling. I’m reading Chemistry in the university soon. I still hope to know the depths of some instruments (of which flute is priority). My focus, however, is not on these things. Say the same about yourself?

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