Roses & Rocket Ships
You are given the option to focus on one of two things in life.
One is a bouquet of roses that will bring you aesthetic pleasure, one is a rocket ship that will take you wherever your heart desires.
When given to you, the roses are just little buds – nothing extraordinary, but you like looking at nice things so you allocate your time into helping them grow properly by cutting off any petal that looks out-of-place, and by rearranging them to fit your needs. You even buy items to enhance their beauty, a pretty pink bow and glass vase. They bloom at their peak, your friends compliment you on them – you can’t help but feel proud.
Reality sets in when these roses start to age. Their petals shrivel, the veins become more prominent, and eventually they don’t look as nice as they used to. Through desperation you buy expensive food for them, you place them in different hours of sunlight, but sadly nothing works and they end up inevitably dying.
The Rocket ship
The rocket ship you are told can make all your dreams come true, it just requires extra attention. You don’t know anything about rocket ships though so your first step is to research about their structure and how to make them function efficiently. From here, you learn how to take proper care of it and how to fix it as required. It’s a time consuming project – one of the biggest endeavors of your life – but the rewards are promising.
Once built, the rocket ship has no limits. It can travel anywhere you like, allowing you to do anything you want. People are envious of what you’ve made, and it encourages others to begin building their own rocket ships. There’s no ceiling, no cap-out.
Then there’s you.
You can choose to focus on the ‘roses’ and have the ability to be aesthetically pleasing, but that only takes you so far – a side compliment from friends before you start to lose your beauty.
You can choose to put your effort into the ‘rocket ship’, AKA your brain, which has infinite possibilities when it is concentrated and worked on.
What I’ve learned…
It’s amazing how many people choose the roses and perceive the rocket ship as too much work. It’s amazing how as humans we have been given a number biological advancements in comparison to other species (‘theory of mind’, mental time travel etc.), and so many people fail to appreciate and capitalize on it.
Simply put, we’ve been given this insane machine that will learn whatever you teach it. There are no limits. It can go and go and go and go. The more you teach it, the better it becomes at everything. Positive correlations.
It’s crazy that as a society we seem to place more emphasis on creating greatness out of something that requires mediocre effort when we could create infiniteness out of something that requires just a little extra care.
The problem with relying on aesthetic pleasure is that if you don’t like the way something looks, your resources are limited. The opportunity with the mind is that if there’s something you don’t like about the way it functions, you can change it. It can be morphed however you desire with just enough discipline and dedication.