Is it better to simply be or to continually strive? Does choosing to enjoy what is, abandoning the reaching for bigger, stronger, faster mean you’re giving up, surrendering? Does always looking for the next moment, the ‘better’ moment, keep you alive and thriving?

Is it better to simply be or to continually strive?

The wise among us say that it’s a mix of both- the key is knowing when to just be and when to keep striving. Each comes with a price tag and a pay off. Our character is revealed by the choice we make.

Then there are those who, no matter which choice they make, always wonder if they have made the best one. And so, I would add to the advice of the wise ones, that the best choice is to make the conscious choice, rather than letting circumstances decide for you. 

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  


Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.

No one wants to be around a downer, a Negative Nelly. People like happy people- it’s like they think it’s contagious.

Poor Alfred, not blessed with a pleasant demeanor nor a penchant for everyday happiness. He was, however, flawlessly consistent. His melancholic undertone held fast through each phase and occasion of his life.

“I’m actually happy being miserable,” he remarked once to his therapist, “If you want to be happy, don’t look to me to do that for you- make your own self happy.”

Like-minded people were not easy for him to find.

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Filed under Creativity, Writing

6 responses to “Striving

  1. Tania

    Nice to see you striving to write & think & create. Or are you just being a writer, thinker, creator 🙂

  2. Aah . . . welcome back!

    When we choose to “simply be,” that doesn’t mean we have stopped all forward momentum. Instead, we are merely choosing to be mindful of our choices (right here, right now) by looking within to see what resonates . . . rather than striving to satisfy some external and more uniform guideline used by others to measure our “success” in life.

    As I see it, our purpose in life is to be happy. Happiness is the goal behind all goals ~ if we are moving in the direction of happiness . . . we are living our purpose.

  3. Re Striving – I think it depends a lot on where you are in life and, perhaps, to some extent, your age (dare I say it). And what you strive for may change significantly from serious to frivolous or vice-versa. To simply just be is not for me, but what I strive for may not necessarily be considered worthy.

    Re Melancholia – I’m surprised “like-minded people were not easy for (Alfred) to find – it seems to me that many miseries seem to be happy in their misery (but maybe they just don’t notice anyone else 🙂 )

    • I think there’s also an element of personality that plays into the being/striving. Some people find just being more natural, while for others striving is more comfortable. Sometimes it’s good to choose to do what is less comfortable for a time.

      As for dear Alfred, many years ago someone told me that they were happier being miserable. That insight stuck with me. Who would want to be miserable?

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