I think, at least based on my experiences thus far, that the one thing people want most is the feeling of being alive. I think when people say they want to live a happy life, this is what they mean -- TO FEEL ALIVE. This is why we enjoy hanging out with our friends, family, and loved ones. Despite each one of us being different individuals, it is those differences that bring out and further enhance a part of us that we may not even know existed or we feel is suppressed. In this way, the people we surround ourselves with make us feel whole and capable of being more than what we are or at least wish to be. We feel more complete and this makes us feel alive.
This is why we love sports. When we are pushing ourselves to run faster, jump higher, and hit harder, which leaves us with aching muscles, puffing for air, and thirsting for water, we are reminded that we are human, and we feel alive. If we were denied this natural privilege to exercise our inherent capabilities, it would be an act that goes against the desire to feeling alive, an act that takes away happiness.
Deep down, we all know this. Unhappiness is evident when the teacher gives us a time out, and we’re stuck sitting in the corner while all your friends get to play. It is evident when our boss doesn’t allow us to voice our opinions. It is evident when the people we care about ignore us. We are being denied the chance to test our natural limits, denied the right to feel whole and all of what we can be, and denied the privilege of feeling alive.
Ever wonder why we love to watch heartbreaking movies? It's because they allow us to feel fleeting happiness, detrimental sadness and everything else in between. We’re allowed to feel our full range of emotions at no real cost aside from time spent sitting in front of the television.
Imagine if someone told you that you’re not allowed to love anymore...
Feeling alive requires fulfilling our spectrum of natural abilities. When we can’t stand eating the same food, can’t manage doing the same mundane activity, or seeing the same person for prolonged periods of time, it is not because we lack discipline. It is because we understand that there are other aspects to our lives that we must not neglect. Too much time and energy spent here, is not enough spent elsewhere. We need a balanced variety of people, activities, emotions, etc. It’s a necessity.
Unfortunately, feeling alive is the exact opposite of how typical companies function nowadays. You have to stay in your cubicle from 9-5 with no freedom to move, and you have to do as your boss says with no freedom to speak or to be heard. You have to stick to one career path, and you have to specialize in one thing and stick with it for the rest of your life. Talk about an unbalanced diet...
And we wonder why stress and depression is the No. 1 disease we have in modern society today?
I’m not advocating a revolution, or quitting your job, but I am saying to allow yourself the privilege of feeling alive. So what makes you feel alive?
Is it dancing the night away?
Is it singing at the top of your lungs?
Is it taking your dog to the park?
Is it staying up all night talking with your mom?
And if you’ve forgotten, here’s a few tips:
It gives you goose bumps.
It makes you smile like no other.
You look forward to it.
It makes you feel absolutely amazing.
I want to feel alive and I want to live a life surrounded by people who feel the same.
by Jason Lam