“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Henry Thoreau.
Everyone had big dreams at some point in their lives. Sadly, not everyone accomplished them. They gave up and now the’re making up excuses to justify why they did not persist. Yes, life can knock you down but you’re supposed to get back up. If you don’t and decide to settle for a life of mediocrity, you’re living a life of quiet desperation.
Everyday there are people who complain about going to work because they don’t like their job but are happy when it’s Friday. Those people optimize their weekends and holidays. They’re miserable but they don’t have enough belief in themselves and guts to strive for what they really want by quitting that job or starting a business on the side. Instead, they’ve conformed to society, gave in to life’s circumstances and settled for a job they don’t like that has nothing to do with their purpose in life. Those people are living a life of quiet desperation. Meaning, they want to do something else or something more but they are refrained from taking that step because they are afraid.
A lot of people smoke, drink, and use drugs to relax and reduce their stress. What they’re really doing is quieting their desperation. Those people are either not where they want to be in life, in a bad relationship/marriage or they hate their job. Instead of finding a solution to get out of their present situation, they would rather take drugs, and engage in activities to quiet their desperation.
Success is managed frustration. When you’re frustrated it’s a sign that you need to find a solution and take action. Consumption of drugs and alcohol to make you relax in order to stay complacent is living a life of quiet desperation. That period of frustration needs to be used to be productive. Within every adversity or frustration is an opportunity. You’ll find it only if you manage your frustration well enough to look for it. You can’t do that if you’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Even if you don’t do drugs or drink you can still live a life of quiet desperation. If you come home from a job that you don’t like and all you want to do is watch TV or play video games, you’re living a life of quiet desperation. None of those activities will solve your problems. Therefore, don’t invest time in them. God created us for a purpose. It is our duty to find that purpose and fulfill it. Don’t just work to pay bills and die. Don’t let anyone who has given up on their dreams tell you, that’s just the way it is. It’s not. You just need to have the courage to be relentless in getting your way in life and not settle.
Netflix is a successful company because they help average people quiet their desperation. A lot of subscribers spend hours each week watching movies, or TV series on Netflix while they’re unhappy with their lives. What they’re doing is quieting their desperation. When they’re watching a movie or a TV show, they don’t have to think about their struggles. It makes them feel good not having to think about it. Feeling good is fine. But feeling great is better. You achieve greatness by finding solutions to solve a problem, not by using entertainment as a distraction.
If you don’t do what you want, you’re someone else’s slave. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for a cause he believed in. He did not quiet his desperation. He fulfilled his purpose. Now that he has passed, he has a great legacy. He’s respected all over the world for his action, courage and accomplishment toward abolishing the South African apartheid system. If he didn’t persist and gave up, he would have lived a life of quiet desperation and he would’ve not be known as one of the greatest activists to ever live today.
It takes courage and sacrifice to pursue something great. Stop wasting years of your life doing things that don’t make you feel fulfilled or bring you happiness. Find work that is in line with your passion or allow you the flexibility to pursue your passion. Get what you want out of life instead of settling for mediocrity. The worse thing you can do is live a life of quiet desperation. Do something different, have faith and become who you were destined to be.