Stoicism | Habits | Lifestyle | Personal Growth | Writing

Be Merciless With Time

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz Kafka

We are the authors of our own souls, yet most of us squander our agency and slide into compliance with expectations and deferment of dreams. What a shame. We ring in our celebration of adulthood with jobs, mortgages and parenthood. These are surely worthy pursuits (otherwise why would we do them?), but isn’t it fair to ask, what are we punting down the path in our quest to measure up?

To be fair, we weren’t born ready to leap across the chasm. We’re never ready, really, but it didn’t feel right to risk everything, such that it was at the time, for the unknown. But every one of us is in the process of becoming whatever we’ll be next, not sitting still, and what we weren’t ready for yesterday might be just the ticket today or tomorrow. We aren’t what we were in all of our previous days, we’re the sum of it.

So given that, shouldn’t we write a script that inspires, makes us well up a bit with emotion and make the hairs on the back of our neck stand up in nervous excitement just for the shear possibility of realizing what we’ve schemed up? I should think so. We’re all actors in our own play, why do we spend so much of it reading lines written by another?

We mustn’t bend or dilute our future. We must be merciless — for it’s ours alone, and soon it will fall away like all of our days before. Isn’t it better to realize our greatest obsessions than to squander them in the swirl of trivial pursuits?

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