The future will be different if we make the present different.
There's a story that someone once asked Robert E. Lee what the secret of his long life was and he replied that he was always wanting something.
Tennessee Williams wrote "Desire is the opposite of death."
I don't suppose anyone's life is completely they way they want it. An oyster may be perfectly content being an oyster and not desire anything until that grain of sand creeps into his shell and annoys him so that he surrounds it with a pearl.
I have basically invented my life. I did more than my share of stuffing envelopes, mopping floors, stocking shelves and carrying heavy burdens. But I've done many things I wasn't qualified to do. I never took an acting lesson and yet I stepped on the stage at the Charles Playhouse in Boston and began a career as an entertainer that lasted over 45 years. I never learned to sing or dance but I've done musicals. With no prior experience as a radio announcer I went on the air at a 50,000 watt AM, FM radio station in a major market where I worked for several years. I never took a piano lesson yet I sat at a baby grand and accompanied dance classes and even wrote music for them. Without a college degree I've taught performing art on the college level. I could list other such impostures. And I did all of it just to make a buck, because poverty was always staring me in the face. Some people I know would be appalled at these confessions.
A friend recently asked me what I think about death. My answer was that I don't think about it. It's not on my schedule. The future is what I think about. and that mean the present. I am right now inventing my future.
Now I sit in an uncomfortable chair, at an uncertain and unpredictable computer system that shuts down without a warning once a day, and, because there are annoying grains of sand under my shell, I write. I'm a terrible typist. I never took a class in creative writing. And I don't make pearls, I make journal entries and stories.
Understanding and defining oneself is a complicated business, but it comes along with a life lived as a duty to oneself. Financial problems still stare at me but I've gotten hardened to them and now my desires are more ethereal than they have ever been. I look forward to the discovery of worlds of being I know are there.
No matter how many decades you've logged on your time card, the best way to live is to look forward to the future and to make the present your own pathway to it.
DB - Vagabond Journeys
(This is not a contest)
Come on. 11 diverse and interesting answers so far. Where's yours?
NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.
Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?
I eagerly await your answer.