I really like proverbs and motivational sayings. They are short and to the point. I believe there is no greater wisdom than when one can congest a whole philosophical debate into a couple of words. It is not simplification in the sense of demeaning the gravity of the substance that the proverb is trying to convey. Instead, good proverbs give you the right boost or the right idea or a right direction in life very quickly and efficiently just when you need it. Like a pill – a lot of science and components watered down…or perhaps dried up into a small tiny pill. I like that. Or like a burger, where there can be a multitude of different ingredients and spices compacted all into one nice juicy and fulfilling meal. Or like a slovenian Potica – can be simple or a work of art.
Work Hard, Dream Big is such a juicy proverb that caught my attention today when I walked to the local Lidl store. While thinking about the meaning of the motivational proverb, I realized something. I only lived by 50% of it. Since I can remember I tried to do my best when learning and working – therefore I think I worked hard, as hard as I could and to the best of my abilities, never gaining anything through favour or connection. However, at the same time I realized, I always dreamt small. I never ever wanted anything more than I have now. A family, a nice home, a job (anything that would motivate me and pay the bills was basically my norm), a couple of medals from the sport…aaaannnnd that is about it…maybe bungee-jumping to spice things up, archery, VW bug, a good computer to play games, a katana…but that is it, honest.
I am 40 now and while thinking about dreaming big, I realized that while my dreams were great, they were not big…not in comparison to the things that people can achieve in these times. My dreams seemed big enough when growing up, but now I am starting to believe I could have aimed higher. Not in a sense of my private life – I could not wish for anything better. However, in terms of my profession I think I could have been something more. No, that is not right. Scratch that. ˂˂ Rewind…play ˃
I think I could have been something ELSE. The bad side of my philosophical monologue on my walk was that the self-debating stopped short of figuring what that “ELSE” entails.
Still, I think that the realisation that I have reached some sort of professional peak or professional fatigue, made me lose interest in many other things. Things that lifted my spirits in the past. I have become complacent. In this state nothing holds my interest for long and I have not been passionate about my job or other hobbies (this blog included). Nothing to occupy my brain with, funnily, resulted in my brain overloading. Nothing to keep my thoughts entertained and distracted from more serious contemplations (in short: stress), disabled my brain to guard itself against an overload of worries.
The only solution that I could come up with was to start doing a multitude of things that will fill my thoughts with nice things to think about, with ideas and plans and dreams, so when the stress returns I would be able to steer my contemplation towards…cherry blossoms.
These are the cherry blossoms from Faculty of Biology in Ljubljana, planted by the Japanese embassy delegation years ago.