The world is tempting and life is infinite possibility. As human beings we naturally strive for innovation, to forge a new path, to achieve the impossible; to possess the unpossessable. And it’s not such a wild idea; the boundaries of possibility are pushed ever further with each passing generation, from the Greeks to the Romans to the Germans and finally, to the Americans. Innovation is constant, growth inevitable. There is always something new to experience, which stands in testament to the absolute possibility offered by life and living: we can do and be anything.
But where to start?! Take a classic tale of absolute possibility, the genie in the bottle. Suppose you were offered three wishes, where would you begin? Would it be money, power, perhaps love or women? Would you choose to be selfless or selfish? Where would you start? And that’s just with three wishes. None of us chooses to be born and none of us (unless you’re suicidal) chooses to die, and our life is one huge sequence of unplanned genie-wishes. Where to begin?
For the first few years of our lives, our wishes are dictated by our parents and elders. During adolescence we take their input under advisory, but make our own wishes. Finally, for the first time in 15 years, our lives are, to a certain extent, our own, and the possibility of life is intoxicating. We begin to realize that we can do and be anything, that the rules are ours to make, not our parents. Some people choose to follow their parents’ suggestions—to adopt their morals and beliefs—while others prefer to shed that burden in favour of freedom. But where the first group has the benefit of years of direction, the second group is at a distinct disadvantage; they have no clue where to start.
Picture yourself at a wedding smorgasbord, with everything from pasta to tiramisu, where would you start? Like any epicurically overloaded eater, you would probably start by sampling everything; once you find out what you like, you’ll go back for seconds. That’s how people with no clear direction approach life and its possibilities: by sampling everything. And on it goes, every day a new experience until a person is left feeling empty and longing for direction, because the pursuit of everything is futile.
Structure, guidelines, rules. These define us. They set the parameters by which we lead our lives, and they, counter-intuitively, allow us true access to the infinite potential life has to offer. Much in the same way an author cannot write mind for grammar, a musician cannot compose without mind for tempo, and a builder cannot construct without mind for engineering, a person cannot live without guidelines and direction.
Sadly, although the world offers limitless potential, we as human beings are limited, and therefore cannot have it all. However, if we harness our energies, our minds and our souls, and we focus it on one goal, on one life, and on one path, we can achieve true greatness.