The Last Word

By Keegan Henman | Posted: Monday September 3, 2018

Like all of you, when I was little I had many aspirations of what I wanted to be when I grew up. At 4 it was a horse, at 5 it was a ninja turtle, at 7 it was batman, at 10 I thought I was going to be a professional scooter rider and at 12 I came to the unfortunate realisation that I was dreaming pretty big.

And now here I am, 18 years old, still contemplating being a horse, however, unsure on what career path to take, which will deem me to be, in society’s eyes successful. This success being that I make lots of money which will allow me to have the flashest car and the flashest house. A success that is supposed to bring me fulfilment in life because I can afford to keep myself looking 10 years younger than I actually am. By the end of next year, I would have spent the past 13 years of my life working towards a success that I don’t really want. Working towards a success that won’t give me what I truly aspire to have in life, happiness.

The problem with happiness these days is that we are mistaking true happiness, true contentment in life with the temporary excitement we feel when we buy something new. This temporary excitement, that becomes not so exciting, once we realise the true price of these things. And no, I am not talking about the $3,222 you might spend on a Versace bathrobe, but the hours of your life you will spend working for this temporary excitement. The average person over the course of their life will spend a whopping 87,600 hours of it at work. And for the very wealthy, probably 15 years of your life just so you can buy that $3,222 dollar Versace bath robe instead of the $15 Disney Princess robe from the Warewhare. They both do the same job, however, one has a brand label, which makes us feel less insecure about ourselves. We spend ridiculous amounts of money on branded items because we think we are going to impress people with our flash things, when really nobody will ever think twice about it. Reality is, someone is always going to have more than us. When we are sitting on our deathbed we aren’t going to think about the flash clothes in our closet but the memories we made with our friends and family. The little things in life, even something as small as a smile, we once received

My 12 year-old self was probably very similar to most of you. For many of us this was our first encounter with the unfortunate consequences of dreaming too big. Being ambitious is good but making plans, dreaming big for the future, gives you a very high chance of you breaking your own heart and there are already enough boys and girls out there who can do that for us instead.

Working hard today so your life in 10 years is easier, is ridiculous. We don’t even know if we are going to make it to tomorrow. Tomorrow we could get diagnosed with a terminal illness, or a massive meteor could hit and we might all get wiped of the face of the Earth, while you were busy working hard for ‘things’ instead of living life for today. Even if you make it to 65 years old sitting in your Versace robe having accomplished your one big dream, you’ll nearly be dead sitting in your rocking chair realising the meaninglessness of your big achievement.

Three things you can’t recover in life:

Words after they’re said.

The moment after it’s missed.

And time after its gone.

Carpe Diem, seize the day boys, seize the day.

Basically what I‘m saying lads is dream big, but don’t dream too big. Take time to be spontaneous. Walk down the street with no shoes on, dance in a forest, jump in the ocean with all of your clothes on, or none. Have fun. Spend your money on experiences rather than objects so you have stories to tell your grandchildren. Put your head down and work hard towards short term goals that in time come together into something so much more rewarding, because if you look too far ahead, you might miss the opportunities in the corner of your eye.