On life

Two lives to choose from

The title of this blogpost says it all: I believe we all have two lives to choose from. There’s a safe life and an adventurous life. A passionate life and a comfortable life. You either take a risk, or stay where you are. In today’s post I’ll give you two examples of what I mean.

Lately I’ve been so obsessed with this. I look around and see most people live a relatively ‘simple’, comfortable life, with a house, a pay check, a car, a family… They live normal lives, like most people do (here in the West). It’s a life that’s expected of them, a life without much surprise and a strict daily routine. BUT of course nothing is as it seems. Things happen. People get sick, have affairs, fall out of love or lose their jobs and everything can change. Life is a constant tug between safety and awesomeness and here are two examples.

1. Love

Love is probably the best example of what I mean. Life #1 is comfortable and cosy. It’s safe. You love your significant other, but you’re not head over heels in love (anymore). There is little passion, but you trust him/her. You’re completely at ease and you know this person will never hurt you. That makes you feel good and content. You don’t worry about your relationship and you know there won’t be any surprises. Life is difficult enough and you value the comfort and safety of being with someone you know will never leave.

Life #2 may be a lot more uncomfortable and unpredictable, but in my opinion it’s a lot more rewarding. In life #2, love is not comfortable. It’s chaotic, painful, passionate, and unexpected. Just like life is. It’s wild and a little scary, but never boring. You know you’re in love and you never doubt this love – even when times are tough. You may think of leaving but it’s never for a lack of love. It’s for a yearning of life #1, with less chaos and more safety and predictability. It’s unlikely that you’ll leave though, because you love this person without question and you can’t imagine your life without him or her.

2. Work

I consider myself an ambitious person, but I definitely struggle between two lives when it comes to work and earning money. Life #1 is safe: I work for a company, get paid every month and am able to do the things I want to do. I have a contract, a good CV, I’m building up a pension, I’m insured and my life is pretty structured. I get up every morning and drive to work every day to do a job I enjoy. Sounds good right? It’s safe and it’s fine, but life #2 is so much more fun.

Life #2 is risky: I set up my own company and I work for myself. I earn my own money and have to put money aside every month to pay taxes and build up a pension. I have to make sure I am insured in case I get sick or injured. I don’t have to set an alarm every day, I get up when I feel like it and I get so much fulfilment from being able to plan my own day. I work because I want to, not because I need to. It’s scary and unpredictable, but it makes me feel accomplished. The rewards are so much greater than the sacrifices. And these rewards aren’t just making money – it’s being able to do something I love every day. That’s more than worth the risk.

Which life do you choose?

I could give more examples of areas in which people can choose between two lives, but these two stand out for me – love and work. For me it’s a constant struggle between living my best possible life and living a peaceful life that’s safe and comfortable. I love safety and I have never been much of a risk-taker, but I also realize more and more how boring that actually is. If I were sitting on a cloud in heaven right now, looking down onto earth, what life would I imagine for myself? A carefully structured, well-planned life with few surprises or a life filled with passion, adventure, opportunities and chaos? Definitely life #2. Without question.

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