Do you have words to live by? You know, like for instance “!ke e: /xarra //ke”. Which is not Klingon by the way, that’s the new(ish) South African motto. Same as the old motto, really just updated for Generation Y.
Anyway, I’m talking about some inspirational cliché that you use to steer your life toward the ultimate goal of world domination. As one does. A go-to phrase when the going gets tough and you(the tough) need to get going.
For instance, among the awful movies Sylvester Stallone inflicted upon the world, one stands out for me due to a line used during an impassioned monologue wherein the obligatory absentee father urges the obligatory sullen teenager to get over himself because, and I quote,
“The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it”.
Inspiring, innit? And it did inspire me for about a week when I was sixteen. Then I released the world does not just give up stuff when you want to take the stuff. It complains and goes to the police and then your mom has to come and get you in the police cells at quarter to one on a Sunday morning and thank God it was just a baggie of weed you took and not something they’re actually going to have a court case about. Not that this ever happened to me or anything, I’m just saying “if”.
Another favourite is “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Attributed to Robert the Bruce, this one, although not actually spoken in the movie, was related to Braveheart since the one guy in it was supposed to be the guy who said it. But like, in real life, you know? And in real life that shit don’t fly. Ask anybody who’s tried to pass Accounting 101 at University with only the vaguest ideas of what a “Debit” is. Or how it differs from a “Credit”. In this instance “Third time’s the charm” would have been more appropriate for me although I think it has more to do with the lecturer thinking “Not you again”. Now that I think about it, I still don’t really understand any of that stuff. I remain eternally grateful to whomever it was that decided it wise to include detailed instructions on the bank deposit slip as to whom the drawer is as opposed to whom the debtor is. Or whatever.
Point is, none of these inspirational sayings actually worked for me. I have never been able to stick to a motto long enough for it to bear fruit. Life itself just seems to interfere with my intentions of staying on the straight and narrow. There’s only so much “Life’s a journey, not a destination” you can stand if you’ve been stuck in the same rut for the past 13 years and still don’t have the money required to “live each day as if it is your last”. ‘Cause no matter how you slice it, anyone who knows it is their last day on earth is going to want to splash some case, baby. That’s just the way humanity rolls.
Still, I think I may have stumbled across a new motto. One that may actually work for me. My wife said it this morning at 05:30 when I staggered past her on my way to the toilet to start the daily ritual of eat work sleep. Looking at the back of my head, she opined that “You could use some more sleep”.
Modify that slightly to read, “I could use some more sleep”, and you have words to live by.
Starting now, actually…
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