Thursday, December 27, 2012

Living Life on Your Own Terms

It might be kind of cliche' to say that one should live life on one's own terms, but how many of us actually get to do it?  Not too many.  We buy houses and have mortgages, and all of a sudden we're bound to a work-aday life.  We no longer have the means or the ability to live life on our terms, but on the terms of a bank.  Certainly, we're living the way we're supposed too, according to social mores.  Get a job, buy a house, pay the bills.  But maybe not living on our own terms.

All that changed for me many years ago when I decided that I really didn't care about possessions or money.  I don't think those things are bad, necessarily, but they became secondary to me being happy with my life. I think that's a point that we all arrive at, at some point, but few are actually able to act on it due to financial constraints.  We keep working to add to the retirement fund maybe, and that's all well and good if that's what is important to you in life.  Not me.

I'm a huge music fan and have been all my life.  I grew up with music and loved listening to my mom's old 45s.  I loved the old soulful westerns like Shifting, Whispering Sands by Rusty Draper.

Songs like this taught me to love ballads.  Songs with feeling, with a message.

Then the tumultuous '60s came, and I matured and listened to a new genre' of music.  In a time of war, there were songs of peace like Cat Stevens' Peace Train.

I'm not only a fan of Stevens' music, but also of his life.  At the peak of his career, he dropped out of sight and followed his soul.  He converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.  He set his music aside and didn't pick up a guitar for over 25 years.  You can read a synopsis of his biography here.  Remarkable.

How many people achieve the level of success that Yusuf Islam did and then simply walk away from it?  Walk away from fame and money?

There is an inner peace that comes from living life on your own terms.  Many people do this, including many cruisers and live aboards, as well as artists, musicians, authors, and others who follow their hearts and not their pocket books.

To be honest, I don't get the Donald Trump types who are on money, power, and ego trips.  What kind of a life is that?  Sure, a luxurious one, but how spiritually rewarding?  No... I don't look up to the Donald Trumps of the world, I respect the Yusuf Islams.

No comments:

Post a Comment