That was one of the two responses I got to this basic question that I posted on my Instagram stories. Maybe it’s because barely anyone takes social media seriously. Or maybe because this question is not something we normally think of, and it becomes way more complicated when you try to answer it.
After my failed Instagram attempt, I talked to people in real life and asked them randomly: “what makes you want to live?”. And what I got was:
“Want to live? I don’t have a bottle of vodka in front of me so that I can tell you that…”, one said.
“Anything that brings pleasure, really – sex, alcohol and food.”
So here we get to the first category – physical pleasures.
Food is one of those pleasures that can bring happiness to people in various ways: from experiencing new things to spending hours in the kitchen in preparation for a dinner party.
Normally when I get very sad, I lose faith in everything, including cooking. I don’t see the point of doing it for myself. But even in the saddest moments of life, I receive the greatest sense of satisfaction when I get to cook for someone else.
It’s a form of therapy. The thought of investing your work and effort for someone who will appreciate it is always rewarding. And if someone can’t appreciate it – it’s time to unfriend them. So go treat yourself to a nice home-made dish.
Another friend of mine does boulder climbing; he says he loves it. I asked him whether it was the gruelling chance of falling on the rocks that attracted him. He said:
“No, it’s much more than that.”
His secret to happiness lies in the results that he receives from putting all that hard work in what he does, over and over again until he reaches the last rock of the wall.
Imagine one day climbing THE mountain, writing THE song or making THE dress – achieving everything you wanted, that you couldn’t have done before. I guarantee it won’t happen overnight. But the desire to improve in something that you feel very passionate about is what can drive life in a significant way. Progress – because practice makes perfect.
Someone else said that for them, “it is very important to take care of others. Kinda like with food, but in a more global way. To help, be useful, and make a difference for a better world.”
That was the second response to my question. I am a people person – I always need to know that I have someone to talk to. And sometimes, that’s what drives me, and apparently – many other people, to live instead of simply exist. Personally, it’s hard for me to get inspired by my own things and achievements. However, when I see someone doing something great – it pushes me. Because I want to be better, and I can be better. But all this deep talk came from a simple all-nighter that I had while writing my final project.
I sat in front of my computer typing all day long until 3 am in the morning, and then I got an unbearable desire to go outside and see the sunrise. I didn’t do that, because I knew that I would have a very tough morning afterwards. But it made me think – this is what I truly love.
Sunrises – a new beginning every day. And unlike sunsets, the sun stays up in the sky and gives every one of us another chance. To cook, sing, climb, socialize – you name it. It is a moment of regeneration that we get every day of our lives, and to be fair, unlike all the other things previously mentioned, it requires barely any motivation or hard work to see a sunrise. In the big picture, the sunrise is just a moment.
And my life is inspired by moments. So what inspires you?
PHOTO & TEXT BY ANNA SENCENKO