My friend, I have some interesting news for you… You always have to pay a price!
If you’re more than, say, 21 years old, it’s time to wake up and understand that everything you do and each time you choose, you must pay something. That’s how life is.
You’ve been raised as a kid to believe in fairy-tales and miracles, but you need to leave those things in the past; they belong to your childhood, but life is not exactly how you thought it is. Adult life is different and, in case you didn’t realize this until now, this text is going, perhaps, to wake you up.
People have dreams. That’s good. What is specific to dreams is that they are free. Completely free. You don’t have to pay for them. You are free to dream whatever you want, imagine all the possible scenarios, have no limitations, and you can do it freely. Keep this in your mind!
Then, there is good luck and bad luck, miracles and misfortunes. If you believe in God, than it’s fine; these are the help and the punishment God is sending or inflicting upon you. If you’re an atheist, then there is Chance, or the random ways things do come and go out of your life. But what is essential is that you don’t have to pay for miracles; they just happen. You can’t pay to avoid disasters either; they just come into your life and damage you or the ones you love. There is nothing you can do. The good news is that both good and bad luck rarely happen. Some people believe they can predict luck or chance, others believe they can negotiate with them, but what we know is that they can’t. You can’t deal with God or Chance and pay something in advance or do something in order to avoid something else. You will be struck regardless. You can’t even transfer your funds, that is, paying for someone else so that you endure his or her misfortune, or pay his debt so that he or she can have good luck. Nope. If you’re still a child in your head, you might believe that you can pray, pay a priest to pray for you, help or volunteer, go to a fortune teller, or inflict some punishment on you so as to avoid bad luck, but truth is these are nothing more than superstitions. And primitive thinking. Miracles will happen following an unknown law, and so will do the misfortunes. Period.
Then, there are those things you want to accomplish in your life. Your goals. Your objectives. For them – all of them – you must pay. There is no escape from that. The goals are not dreams; they are attainable and you can accomplish them.
Life is made in such a way so that if you exaggerate in one direction, there is a shadow building up in the opposite direction. If you live, you have to die. If you study, you become knowledgeable but less socialized. If you spend too much time with your friends you neglect learning. You know that. If you fail to develop a set of skills you will fail if those skills are needed, or you will heavily pay your inability. In general, you pay with your time, your invested time, but there are some other “currencies” involved.
You are born with a certain amount of available credits. Keep this in your mind: we are not born equal. You may complain to God or Chance, but you’ll get no answer whatsoever. You may be mad if you are born with little credit but the truth is nobody cares. What is important is to do the maximum you can with the credits you’ve got. That is… playing your cards wisely. If you invest well, you’ll increase your amount; if you play poorly, you’ll lose. Nobody will ever come to comfort you if you lose. You lick your wounds and keep going, or you collapse and get depressed and die, and nobody in the entire world will ever care. Unless… they want to accumulate extra cash by being nice and helping others, but that’s completely their business and not yours.
The big problem is that, by the time you’re reading this, you’re probably already in your adult years. This means that you’ve already won and lost a lot. But perhaps you still believe you can cheat this system. And the most destructive thing you can do is to begin building stuff on chance, waiting for something good to happen. If you’re smart, you should be building on your goals, and invest in what logically depends on you, what stays in your power. But too many people build on others’ agendas, they rely on other people, or worse, they live other people’s lives. If those other people fail or change their minds, the ones relying on them fail dramatically. Others build on “the promise of good luck or God’s help”. And this help seldom arrives. I’ve seen this too many times. “If God wants, I shall do that!” What if God doesn’t want you to do that? Eh? What are you going to do? What if “God’s plan” is different? You’re a loser. Period.
When you enter adulthood, you already have a credit that was damaged or increased, depending on how good your education was. You may find out that you are very poor, decently rich or filthy rich. From that point, knowing that you’re constantly paying is a plus. You might also discover that you do not have enough credits to fulfill your… no, not dreams… your goals. For instance, I always wanted to live in Canada. I do not own enough credits to go there as a doctor. I might go there declaring that I am an unskilled worker, and I will surely succeed, provided I never whisper a word about my real profession. Giving up my medical career and completely renouncing – or should I say voiding – all the years I spent in medical training, is the price for living in Canada. It’s a payable price, but since I love what I do, I refuse to pay it. So, I remain in Europe. If I would have been born in Canada, stuff would have been easier, but again, it depends on the credits you’re given at birth. Being born in Romania – something that I don’t remember to have ever chosen – is automatically low credit. On the other hand, if I could give up my passion, I could pay with it my departure to Canada. As you can see, there is always a price: time, effort, passion, etc., but there is always something.
When I went to France, I decided to remain there and become a French citizen. Everything was fine and I was hopeful. I was far away from the Balkans and in a civilized society. But I didn’t know at the time of my departure that I was too low on credit. Having arrived there, I felt instant loneliness and lack of social life. And lack of growth. I was working dull days and during the weekends I was rarely speaking to somebody. It was a matter of months before mentally collapsing. When I saw that I’m getting depressed and burnt-out, I returned to my home country, ashamed and defeated. I couldn’t pay. I learned that I needed bigger credit. And also, I had to make what people fear most: compromises.
When you are a perfectionist, just like I am, all criteria must be met if you are to make a choice. You are always fighting a battle between needs and desires. By working on this excessive trait, I learned to compromise on less important aspects and stick to my core values. I accepted that life is imperfect, but again, I was low on credit… Perhaps the most difficult stuff for me was to begin to rely on other people. That is risky investment, because if they collapse, I might collapse as well. But nothing is done without some risk-taking. At the end of the day, patience – a heavy price commodity – brought me where I am today. I paid with my time and my health, but I no longer rely on luck and I definitely see the difference between a dream and a goal. Now I can afford to pay the heavy price of living abroad if I decide to return there. There are things that I might lose, but most of them are already lost. So I can finally pay that price.
You get out of childhood and enter the adult life when you begin to pay your fair price. Some people refuse to pay. They believe that it is possible to cheat the system, and consequently become neurotic. You can’t have results without paying, but if you keep refusing the price with obstinacy, you will be blocked and be subject to paying a penalty. Until you accept to pay the price, you will wait, and wait, and wait. And in the end, you pay the price plus the penalty. In general, you know very well what the payment is, but you avoid taking responsibility to act out. So you wait more. This is the price of growing up, of leaving the world of miracles and beginning to live in the “real” world. You can always return to the world of dreams – they do remain free – but in the real world of goal achievements, you must pay the required price.
You might be disappointed by the fact that each time you must pay a price and consequently you might begin to perceive this world in bleak tones. Well, it depends on your goals. As I said above, some people live other people’s lives. Or should I say, they chase other people’s goals. And this changes the situation significantly. If you chase your own goal – a goal that, upon achieving it, makes you happy – you will pay the price wholeheartedly, knowing that it is a fair price for success, for your own happiness. But if you chase a goal that belongs to someone else (often your parents’ goals), that goal might not make you happy when you achieve it, so you pay in vain for something that it’s not yours. That’s depressing. You will pay the price, undoubtedly, and in the end you will not be happy, because you either wanted something else, or you simply didn’t want that result, or it didn’t have value for you. And then you begin to blame others instead of blaming yourself and acknowledging your responsibility for the failure. This happens often.
Another situation is when achieving a goal does not lead to personal happiness, but to satisfaction for having inflicted some damage to someone else. Pride, revenge, the pleasure to show that you are superior in a way or another, all these could be goals as well, but lead to conflict and the injured other might fight back. In the end, instead of paying for your happiness, you pay for your vanity and weak-mindedness. So make sure you’re paying for your happiness and not for others or for your flaws, because you will pay… anyway… Make sure you don’t do it stupidly.
My advice: make sure you can pay the price every time you’re doing something new. Check and double-check. Don’t do foolish things relying on God’s help, as most certainly it won’t come. Be prepared for disasters and do the necessary planning in case they strike you. Stop believing in miracles! Welcome them, if they happen, but never rely on them, because you lose credits in vain. And finally, be aware that there will always be a price to pay for everything you do and each goal you have. Be ready to pay it. And make sure that that goal Makes You Happy!