What are High Aspirations? Success?

I have been accused by some of not having high aspirations. Of being unmotivated and of being apathetic or slovenly about life. Its interesting really, to know where others place their values.

People make note of the fact that I haven’t established a professional career, even though I am aged as I am. They make note of the fact that I am attending college at my age, but still don’t have a degree. They make note that I am not rich or well-off, that I don’t have a nice car.

I receive negative judgments for not having material possessions. I don’t have a nice car or lots of money. I don’t have fame or prestige. I don’t have a degree hanging on my wall.

Does that speak to my lack of motivation and initiative in life? Or does it speak to what you value above all else when judging someone and assessing their worth?

What people that make these accusations fail to realize… what they have chosen to ignore… is rather numerous.

I have been investing in mutual funds since I was 20. I have served the country for the first six years of my adult life, honorably and prestigiously. Though I chose not to make the military my life, and left it with little to show for myself, I did start attending school.

I may not have a doctorate. I may not even have an associates degree. But what I do have is an education… an extensive education. I have taken courses of all sorts, courses that don’t even apply to the degree I claim I’m getting. I have done more than enough secondary research for these courses. I perform quite well and have a high GPA. And when I’m not studying for school, I’m still studying something that interests me.

I exercise for enjoyment and for health. I have personal projects and hobbies, and am building skills of every sort. I accept non-career-oriented jobs just for the experience of having done them, deliberately going for jobs I am not qualified for.

I have friends. I have had satisfying romances. I have the love of my family. I have the love of a kitty.

What else can someone ask for? What more could someone want?

I am not as superficial as some. I dont place my value or worth in material things and measurable, comparable accomplishments. Life is more than a competition with other people. Its a competition with ones self. I enjoy a challenge and get pleasure from life from it.

I could care less to die rich and famous with a doctorate hanging on my wall and a Mercedes in my mansion garage. I do care to be adept at life, influential to those who matter to me, and to die with friends at my bedside who will mourn and remember the few honorable, humble deeds I have done. I’m content to be the best person that I can be – not the most productive and profitable consumer/capitalist. What brings one person happiness and satisfaction isn’t necessarily what brings the next person the same.

What matters to you? What brings you happiness? People claim not to be superficial… but when they say that they usually have the mentality that the adjective applies solely to their pick of sexual partners. If being rich and famous is truly what matters most to you, so be it… good luck. If that makes you happy. But don’t judge me for not being rich and famous… or for not even caring to be. I suppose we all should be judged based on what matters to us and our strife to succeed in that endeavor, without being held to a stereotype definition of what success is.

Its painful for society and individuals to reject you as a “slacker” of sorts, superficially, because they dont hold the same passions and interests as you. In fact, I have intangible interests, such as romance and love and happiness; I wish to better myself intellectually and philosophically. This is as far from superficial as I can get. And they are worthy, honorable endeavors. Do others really derive their happiness and meaning from life, their definition of success, from financial profits? To be buried in a coffin full of cash and gold?



One Response to “What are High Aspirations? Success?”

  1. morpheus2009 Says:

    Well, you certainly strike me as an honorable man, Cogito. An intriguing soul who rarely “pulls a punch.” In fact, I would say you probably have garnered the “right” to judge many of those around you for not living up to your standards or expectations. Leading by example is the best way to establish such a noteworthy station in life.

    Yet, you start by stating that it is rather you who’ve been judged by others in your life, interesting…

    Maybe there’s more to it than merely the superficial acutriments like money and cars? I wonder. Who would you say you are the most critical of in your life? Yourself or those around you.

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