The Tarahumara would be confused by such a proposal. They would turn and run away – smiling.
As recently as fifty years ago, professional athletes had to hold down another job simply to get by. They weren’t playing for the fame and fortune. They played for the love of the game. Nowadays it’s not uncommon for players to sit out entire seasons because they aren’t getting paid enough. Sure most athletes still love what they do, but it’s a career, a job, something that puts food on their plates. They aren’t wrong to think like that either. With owners making hundreds of millions, why shouldn’t they get their share? With every passing year it becomes more about the money.
Think about your own career. Do you love what you do? How many of you wake up every morning and can’t wipe the smile off your face because you’re so anxious to get to your desk? Most of us don’t. We answer these internal questions by telling ourselves we need the money, it’s a career. How else are we supposed to pay rent, feed our family or retire at an early age?
If you continue down that road for too long you will inevitably suffer a midlife crisis. I don’t have any medical basis for this belief but it would seem logical that we suffer midlife crises when we come to the realization that we have neglected our true passions for too long. It starts out simple – we take jobs that we accept as a form of income thinking “I’ll do this for a little while and then focus on what I really enjoy”. Lucrative promotions, other opportunities make it harder and harder to leave and follow our passions. Eventually we reach a point where it is seemingly too late for a career transition. Our children rely on our income and starting over could jeopardize their opportunities. So instead we buy fast cars, summer homes and other luxury items to try to escape from our true disappointment.
Life is about the pursuit, not the end game. We lose sight of this fact in our society that seems to become more materialistic with every passing year. As a young adult, you are the master of your own destiny. Break the mold – no matter how hard that may be. Take the time to assess your own life and don’t just accept what society is telling you.
The Tarahumara believe humans were born to run. They wake up every day with a smile on their face because they know that, from sun up to sun down, they do what they love. Do you?