How to live with velocity (without burning out)

I want to live a life of vigor. A life of voracity. Of eagerness.

I love it when I can vibrate at this level.

This is a conscious choice — a conscious practice — because it is not automatic to my nature. If I’m not careful, I’ll gladly live a life sitting around reading how to do it instead of actually doing it.

No one described this concept (or many others) better than the late Howard Gossage…

Someone has said that the difference between children and adults is that the world happens to children; adults happen to the world. We develop stability and then momentum — we start to become mature — when we start happening back at the world and accept the responsibility for our actions.

-Howard Luck Gossage

Howard knew how to live with velocity.

Now… We have to be careful here. His quote can easily be used to justify adopting the life of a control freak. Of feeling like we must force, manipulate, and bend everything in the world to our will.

But you know, I know, and Gossage knew that we can easily wear out doing that.

Gossage was an ad man. His whole schtick was changing people’s perception to get them to move (and, usually, to buy the stuff he was advertising). He was one of the best at it.

But he, like many other great, ethical marketers used his creative superpowers for good. He wrote/said this to let people know that they can move things.

This human existence can feel overwhelming. Helpless.

The world seems to have its own agenda at times — fully directed at stomping us like a bug.

It can feel like everyone was born to oppose you. From the neighbor lady to the worn out angry bastard at the DMV — they seem to line up sometimes, taking consecutive shots at your gut.

It’s easy to feel like we have no say in what happens to us here. To get swept away in this grand drama of humanity.

But when we stop and flip that mental switch, things change. Because Howard was right…

We can happen back to the world.

We can sit and stare at that blank page. We can become tortured that the masterpiece won’t automatically draw itself. There’s nothing stopping us from doing that.

Or, we can take the damn pencil and happen to the page.

This world is chaotic. We’re born into a similar situation of idling in the middle of the autobahn pointed the wrong direction.

Life comes at us. Fast.

We can just sit there. We can bitch and complain that all… these cars… keep driving at us!

We can complain about the stupid ass laws and the cops and the government. We can shake our fist at them. All the while, other angry German drivers zoom by us threatening our existence.

Or, we can become present behind the wheel, learn the controls, and put our foot on the gas.

It’s not enough just to floor it when we’re headed in the wrong direction. We aren’t going to win.

But when we see the opportunity to get our vehicle pointed in the right direction that we can take it. We can go WITH the flow of the proverbial autobahn of life and go as fast as we damn well please.

Sure, a deer might very well jump out in front of us and pull the curtains in a split-second. That’s one of the many conditions we can’t control here. And that’s okay. Because we’ve chosen to live fully in the face of these uncontrollable factors.

This is the freedom of being human. This is living with velocity.

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Jonas writes daily essays and meditations here at Medium. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.