“Three men are trapped on an island. They find a genie's lamp and agree they will each get a wish.
The first man wishes he was 25% smarter, then he swims off the island.
The second man wishes he was 50% smarter, then he cut down a tree, made a boat, and rowed off the island.
The third man wished he was 100% smarter, then he walked across the bridge.”
Source – Internet
This post I’m sharing with you today has nothing to do with photography but it has something to do with us as free human beings. Reading the joke above made me wish I was smarter long time ago even for just 25%.
Imagine this.. you found yourself on a small boat in the middle of the ocean for weeks without any signs of shores nearby, then one day you reach an island filled with palm trees and green bushes. You found food, fresh water and shelter, you ate, drank and took nice long rest, naturally at this point you will feel very grateful that all your basic needs are fulfilled and you are still alive. Then the next day you do the same thing, you eat, drink and sleep. Days, weeks, and months go by without any signs of passing ships and then one day you realize that you have to answer the inevitable question “What’s next?”… Should you leave the island and risk your life sailing into the unknown trying to reach the mainland or should you stay on the island and live on it forever?
But you don’t have to answer this question, for now, as I recently realized that the guy on the island was in fact.. me.
Unfortunately I decided to stay on that island convincing myself that this is the rational choice so I could stay safe, plus I got everything I need to stay alive for many years... just alive.
For now I can’t say how I ended up being on the island for a good reason, but the truth is I can’t wait for that day to come and share it with you all.
I thought I made the right choice back then while in reality I chose to die very slowly and peacefully as I grow older rather than probably die younger trying to reach the mainland. And now I got to ask myself the same question again…. “What’s next?!”
Well, this time I’ll answer while screaming at the top of my lungs;
“GET THE F*** OUTTA HERE!”
The island I’m writing about is a state of mind known as “the comfort zone”. Like many people around me I underestimated my capabilities and was satisfied with small goals I sat for myself. I’ve always thought that as long as I have a stable job, roof above my head and food on my table, I’ll have no worries about the future and the world will leave me in peace. I was dead wrong.
You may be happy with your life, you got a job, a house, a lovely family and a dog but do you think that if you keep living exactly the same way you live now for years to come, would that guarantee a stable life for you or your family? If whatever you are doing now can bring food on the table today, do you guarantee that it will be enough to bring food on the table tomorrow? Even if it did, describe your feelings when you become old and your days are numbered realizing that you lived a safe, mediocre and risk free life without knowing what you were truly made of or what great things you could have achieved.
Of course you should always be thankful for what you have now, but it does not mean that you should not aspire for more in life, you should always take the risk even if it meant abandoning the safe island you live on and sailing to the middle of the unknown to find the mainland. Always find a new goal and climb whatever obstacles standing in your way of achieving this goal and you will find your true self in the process. Do not surrender to anything or anyone limiting your dreams. Do not become another guy on the island who is content with his current status and takes each day as it comes. Most importantly do not allow anyone or other people dictate your life decisions, they will try to convince you that the island is paradise on earth and you can’t live outside it. They actually do that so they can kill your ambitions and keep you under their control because either they are afraid to realize how venerable they are if they were left alone on their island or they want to use you to serve their own goals.
If you already know this when you were young, then you are damn lucky. It took me very long time to realize this. I wrote this post so others could learn from my mistake so they can avoid staying on their islands for too long.
I end my post with this part of a dialog from the movie “Life of Pi”, when the main character (young Pi) discovered a human tooth on an island he reached and saved his life after drifting for months in the ocean with a tiger he used to call him “Richard Parker”.
Adult Pi Patel:
Don't you see? The island was carnivorous.
Carnivorous? Like a Venus Flytrap?
Adult Pi Patel:
Yes. The whole island. The plants, the water in those pools, the very ground itself. During the day those pools held fresh water, but at night some chemical process turned the water in those pools into acid. Acid that dissolved those fish that sent the meerkats scurrying into the trees, and Richard Parker (the tiger) running to the boat.
But where did the tooth come from?
Adult Pi Patel:
Years ago, some poor fellow just like me must have found himself stranded on that island, and like me he thought he might stay there forever. But all that the island gave him by day, it took away again by night... All I know is that eventually he died and the island digested him, leaving behind only his teeth. I saw how my life would end if I stayed on that island... I had to get back to the world, or die trying… if I hadn't found those shores, I would have died. If I hadn't discovered that tooth, I would have been lost, alone forever”…