The Courage and The Will

by bkajlich

Charlie Chaplin said that “life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish. The trouble is, you won’t fight. You’ve given up. But there’s something just as inevitable as death, and that’s life. Think of the power of the universe- turning the earth, growing the trees. That’s the same power that is within you- if you’ll only have the courage and the will to use it”.

Last week I asked the lot of you on Twitter if you were happy on a daily basis. Some of you said yes. Some of you asked how I define happiness. MOST of you said that “NO”, you are not happy. When I asked you specifically what you would have to do to change that, the majority seemed to have given up hope, resigned to the idea that this is how it’s going to be.

That breaks my heart.

It hurts because I know what it feels like to be trapped within the death grip of despair. To desperately crave a glimpse of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and yet have absolutely no faith that such a beacon exists. I have, more than once, felt that this life was not worth living. I have pondered what it might feel like to make a hasty exit. I have all but given in to that deep, dark desire.


I have found my way back home. I’ve learned that you can be at the bottom of the barrel and still look up and see the azure blue of the sky. I’ve found that it is possible to remain calm, living and breathing within my center as the storm rages on around me. And it’s not just me. I’ve watched my younger brother struggle with horrific, life altering injuries that could have easily been the end for him, mentally as well as physically. I have witnessed his incredible strength of character and will come into play as time and time again he flips the odds his middle finger. What’s that? Never gonna walk again? How bout completing the IronMan in Kona??! Take THAT bitches.

Here’s the deal peeps. THAT, whatever you think THAT is when you look at your heroes; an amazing life, Happiness, Courage, Strength. The ability to do and be whatever you want. That thing that you have deluded yourself into thinking is reserved for people in music montages and top ten plays on Sportcenter… It lives and breathes within you too. It is there, without QUESTION, nestled somewhere in your brain between the words I can’t and I don’t. Quit feeding yourself the bullshit lies. You have just as many days and hours and minutes as most of the great people you admire. There is no reason why you can’t live the life you have imagined. NONE. Got that?! And if for some reason you can’t even imagine what kind of life you’d like to live then how bout this:

Aspire to live a life in which you make a difference for at least one other individual. Open your heart. Stop thinking about yourself. Make it your goal to make life a little easier or better for the next guy or gal. Start small. Look people in the eye when you talk to them. Reach out to someone in need. Volunteer for something greater than you. DO SOMETHING. Quit worrying about getting ahead and getting the things you want. Worry about cultivating kindness in your heart and you know what? BAM. One day you will look around and realize without even imagining it, you are living a life of love and prosperity. Because the biggest not so secret trick is that a life lived in pursuit of other people’s happiness, magically engineers happiness for you too.

Why is it so hard? Why does it seem so impossible for so many to imagine themselves living the good life?

It’s because we have forgotten what that means. We think it means more money, more stuff, FAME, visibility, feeling important. But YOU ARE IMPORTANT ALREADY. You are important because you are here, living this life, part of this experience. Nobody needs to notice you having that experience to validate it. YOU validate it by BEING YOU.

And oh my are you beautiful when you are YOU. I’m serious. There will never be another one like you. Own it. Live it. Flourish in the glory of the you-ness that is you. Take it all the way my friends. Break through the shackles of your own self loathing, your self imposed limitations, your fears.

Have the courage and will to use all that you have been given.

and when you fear what you have been given, might not be enough…

remember that dear Charlie Chaplin

above all else,

was simply

a clown.