…said everyone. Since the beginning of time.
A few years ago my wife sent me an article by Mark Manson, entitled The Most Important Question of Your Life, which essentially spoke to one core message: What are you willing to struggle through in order to get what you want? In order to be happy?
This week in Jo’burg has been particularly wet, a result of the Dineo Storm affecting Mozambique at the moment. As people close to me know, I’ve been riding a Vespa as my sole means of transport for coming on 7 years now.
It’s always in the rain that I, bizarrely, am reminded how that decision to remove the weekday-four-wheeled-cage from my life has changed me for the better. Does it have its drawbacks? Sure. But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
As I was waiting at the traffic light in the pouring rain today, a guy – smoking – shouted through his half-open window, “Why don’t you just buy a car!?”, obviously commenting on my non-roofed mode of transport as the rain pelted down on me.
The answer is quite simple: I’ve chosen what I want to struggle through, in order to be happy. You see, for a small minority of days in the year, it rains. For those particular days, I – like today – wear a rain suit. It protects every bit of me and keeps me dry. I ride to meetings, events, anywhere, and I arrive as dry as a bone. Sometimes my shoes may be a little wet, but, if you didn’t notice it (no one ever does) you’d never know that I was out in the elements in the pouring rain only minutes before I walked into the room.
For the majority of days in the year, though, I am blessed with the freedom of riding my little green beast through lanes of traffic, between cars who spend hours commuting to and from work. Their choice. The path they took to struggle through.
What I find fascinating though is that, to them, I’m always the idiot.
- In the rain, I’m an idiot because I’m getting wet.
- In the sun, I’m an idiot because who am I to think that I can just ride past you while you have to sit in traffic, huh?
To people who commute: You’ve chosen your poison. Suffer through your traffic 95% of your working days, and I’ll suffer through rain the other 5%. And while you’re sitting in that mind-numbing rat’s arse that is bumper-to-bumper ludicrousness, consider this: What choices are you making in your life that are working towards your happiness? And what other choices, that you’re afraid to take on because there may be a little downside, should you be pursuing?
As Mark Manson says: “Our struggles determine our successes, so choose your struggles wisely, my friend.”
* This is a re-post from LinkedIn.