Dedicated to the giants who enabled us to see the world by letting us stand on their shoulders.

What is life?

Have you ever thought about life?  For a big chunk of my career, I was part of the rat-race.  I will get up in the morning and go through my usual routine.  Go to work for 12 – 14 hours.  Go home, eat, sleep, and repeat the next day.  And the next day, and the next day.  During the late 2000’s I was privileged to attend a Mobile-Learning conference in Barcelona, Spain.

My hotel room overlooked a busy intersection. (See blog picture for view) Every morning I will awake by the fuzz and buzz of the city coming to life.  I will open the wooden shutters and stand on the 3rd-floor balcony sipping a magnificent coffee from the barista on the ground floor.  I was on top of the world.  From my balcony, I would watch the busses, cars, and scooters chasing the traffic lights.

As I was standing there, sipping my coffee from a paper cup, I wondered what was chasing them?  What I did not realize at that time, was that I am part of that chase, they chase traffic lights, and I chase made-up milestones in life’s imaginary calendar.  Worse of all, I did not realize that I am in this rat-race for another decade or so.  For that brief moment every morning, I was king of my castle, I had arrived, I lived the life I thought I was destined to live.  Sipping coffee from a paper cup looking down on the world from my 3rd-floor hotel room somewhere in the world.

Years have passed after my king of the castle moment.  I started to battle to keep up the 12-14 hour workdays.  Although I was ticking off my milestones on my imaginary made-up calendar, I did not have peace of mind.  I looked at my life and asked myself the question I should have asked myself many years ago.  What is life?  Is life made up milestones on an imaginary calendar to chase?  Or is there more to life than this?

And then I realized, life is a journey and not a race. There’s a big difference.  When life is a journey, you reach destinations.  When life is a race, you reach milestones and get to tick off an item from the list on your imaginary made-up calendar.  When you choose life’s journey, the destinations are way better than the milestones you are currently chasing.

Only when you start your journey, you can see life for what it is.  Life has many ups, and it has a lot of downs.  Life can be, at times, heartwarming and unbelievable and, at times, dull and dreary, yet it is an event that is not understandable to the human mind.  The mind that is continually searching for meaning, happiness, and purpose.

Live can be fragile – from a scratched knee from your first solo bicycle ride to a broken heart from your invisible love; life can be hard.  Life is about mistakes.  You fall, you stand up and try again. Lesson learned.

Life is a choice – to harm or to heal, to love, or to hate.  Life is about memories, passion, sacrifice, perseverance, and character.  Life gives us experience – to feel, to cry, to know, to see, to suffer, to be sad, to hope, to dream, to endure, to overcome, to share, to inspire, to laugh, to love, to live.

I have made a lot of changes in my life’s storyline.  A quick backward glance told me I am going the wrong way.  How this story is going to end, I don’t know.  But what I can tell you are, life can be a beautiful story.

About the Author: Waldemar Blanché

Learning Specialist at BlackTieLearning