In Pursuit Of…

In-pursuit-of

If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

This video is both funny and deep, if you really think about it. This is the conclusion to  the coyote and the road runner, the never ending chase. We have always been led to believe that the coyote is the bad guy and the road runner is the good guy who is smart, fast and funny.  But this video tells a different story. Yes, it is funny, but think about it again and you will see a different picture emerging behind the humour.

When the viewers who watch the cartoon think that the coyote is never going to catch the roadrunner, the coyote persists. Real dream chasers, the mad ones, the crazies, keep chasing their dream even when everyone around them begs them to stop and give up and pursue something else. When one thing does not work, they try something else, and then something else, they change their angle, their technique, beaten up, broken down they keep persevering. See they know a secret that most people don’t, or perhaps choose to ignore because of the pain it may cause.

If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

If however, your actions do not get you your desired results, then it is not that you have failed, it is simply the result of your combined actions. Perhaps you have not performed an actions well or the timing was not right, perhaps there are some factors that you have not considered, maybe your approach is not optimal. Dream chasers, those mad ones know this and they change their approach, change their technique, change their angle, or whatever it takes to get them to where they want to be.

Eventually they do – they all do!

But we know that don’t know? We need only to look around us. But what happens after you get to where you wanted to be, what happens when you finally achieve ‘success’, what happens after you have made your dream into a reality?

Sometimes people keep chasing a dream and forget about everything else, their family, relationships, health, and instead they become obsessed about it, putting themselves on the line, risking everything and never giving up.

When they finally achieve their dream, they are sometimes left with a void and the question:

Is this all there is?

The chase is over, the task is complete, the chapter is closed, so now what? Sometimes people develop an identity crisis. The passion, the thrill of chasing their dreams leaves them hungry for more, but they don’t know what else there is to chase. Just like the coyote, they try different things, fall into a lousy state of mind, anger, depression, feelings of worthlessness. This happens a lot with very successful people. Even if people manage to maintain a healthy state of mind and do something else that brings meaning in their lives, they still miss the chase, they crave the process of converting raw power of their passions into their desired results.

We have seen many athletes, after achieving unimaginable level of success and retiring, return back to the game, or a businessman after retiring comes back, or a filmmaker keeps coming back because sometimes that is the only thing that brings meaning to their life.

But the question I ask is: Is it worth sacrificing everything you hold dear? Should you chase a dream at the expense of your health? Should you pursue success while sacrificing the love of your friends, family or your personal relationship?

I can’t speak for everyone, but perhaps they key is balance! But an even bigger solution is the answer to

WHY?

Why do you want what you want? The answer to that question is perhaps the starting point to brining balance. When you truly answer that question, either you will realize that it is not worth pursuing, or you will find that you can achieve the same ‘why’ by pursuing something else, something which you may not have to sacrifice the other things that are dear to you for, or you will realize that the WHY is what brings you joy and power in your life which you can directly inject into your work as fuel and move forward.

Take Stock

Another way to bring balance is taking stock of your accomplishments. Think about it! Many things that you now take for granted were once a dream, a goal, something that seemed so far fetched you couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like achieve it. Maybe it was graduating with a degree or a diploma, or owning your own car, getting a job, earning $X dollars in salary, owning a house, asking someone out, or getting married to someone that you love, travelling to a destination you always wanted to go to, starting a business, or getting that promotion. Just think about it?

Stay Thirsty…Keep pursuing…

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

The human spirit needs growth, no amount of success brings as much meaning and joy as growth does and in fact that might even be one of the laws of nature. Companies need to grow, to invent, invest, innovate, people need to grow financially. One dollar 10 years ago is not worth one dollar today, and today’s dollar will not be worth that much in the future. Likewise with your dreams and goals. If you are in pursuit of something, keep at it, if you don’t have something to chase, go find something. Mind you, your dreams don’t have to be materialistic, it can be to better a relationship, it can be spiritual, it can be a health goal. Whatever it is, go get it.

I end with this video. It is one of my favourite scenes, a tear jerker, a real inspirational moment.

Controversies and Cynicism Surrounding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have been part of or at least heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It’s all over the internet, on the news, talk shows, Youtube, and it has completely taken over everyone’s Facebook news feed. The Ice Bucket Challenge aims to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The Challenge

You complete the challenge by pouring a bucket of ice on your head or donating $100 to an ALS foundation, you then nominate other people to do the same – it’s simple, fun, it’s for a good cause and it’s effective.

EVERYONE is on this – actors, singers, professional athletes, news reporters, billionaires, and of course regular folks like you and me.

It has spread like wild fire and It has become a world wide phenomenon. It’s HUGE! But whenever something gets this big there are bound to be some controversies and cynicism.

So what is ALS?

ALS is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). Median survival time from onset to death is 39 months, and only 4% survive longer than 10 years. Most die from respiratory failure, usually within three to five years from onset of symptoms. (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis)

Enlightened church against raising funds for ALS research:

Check this out!

The Catholic church of Cincinnati is asking it’s members to not donate to the cause because the organizations involved with ALS Association funds a research that uses embryonic stem cell research, and the church has gone as far as asking its school principles to not encourage students to raise money for the cause.

I don’t even know what to say to that. This is not the first time religion has come in the way of progress, and sadly it won’t be the last.

How much awareness is too much awareness?

Then there are people who have now started complaining that there is just too much of this, too much of the ice bucket challenge videos on the news, on talk shows, on Youtube and Facebook. I personally know some who say they are simply annoyed and fed up of it and are looking for ways to block this content from their Facebook feeds.

This not only upsets me, it angers me profoundly. I didn’t see these people complaining when Gangnam Style was all over the place, neither do they have a problem with posting a selfie every 10 seconds, oh but yes, they do have a problem with videos that help spread awareness of a deadly diseases.

The question I ask to these people is: Would you be annoyed or would you be willing to block these videos if YOU or your loved one had ALS? Watch this:

You do feel pretty stupid now, right? If you still don’t get it, let me demonstrate what you are exactly doing when you say something like this:

No Ice (Ice Baby), Just Cash

There are people who have complained that the whole Ice over head is totally unnecessary and people should just donate the money to ALS. With all due respect, you are being ignorant, or simply knowingly neglecting the fact that the ICE bucket challenge is THE single most important factor in raising awareness for ALS. Apart from doctors, how many of you actually knew about ALS? I’ll be honest – I did not know about ALS until this ice bucket challenge came along!

Secondly, an interesting comment I read the other day was that people are likely buying the ice to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, instead they should just donate that money to charity.

Marketing my dear Watless, Marketing!

That’s like telling companies to stop spending money on ads and just put that money into improving their products. If that was the case, no one would buy their products because no one would know about it.

5 reason the Ice Bucket Challenge is so effective is:

  1. You are asking people to take a very specific action – pour a bucket of ice over their head, or donate $100 to ALS charity. 
  2. The action to “donate $100 to ALS” is a very specific action which directly translates to raising funds. It is not “help raise awareness” or “show support” etc..
  3. after the challenge is completed you nominate other people. You’re connecting, you are spreading the world in a very direct way. People are using their social connections which are much stronger than holding a sign that says “Donate to ALS”
  4. It’s fun! Cold ice water on the head, face and body is something people don’t experience on a regular basis, it puts people in a different state, physically and emotionally. It is engaging!
  5. The Challenge! – It is almost like we are mentally wired to prove ourselves. Remember the time at the school playground – “Bet you can’t do this?” What did you do? You ended up doing it. Now you are an adult, but your reputation is still at stake! 😉

Then there are people who are complaining that some will pour a bucket of ice, just to get away from giving $100 to charity. SO WHAT?! It’s almost as if, these people didn’t want to donate the money, and are upset that other people got away with not donating. Even if they don’t donate, they are raising awareness for ALS, and even if these people nominate 3 others to do the same, we potentially have hundreds of people spreading the word and donating. Plus, I know so many people who took the challenge AND donated to charity!

Then there is the “How long will this last?”. Even if all of this dissipates in the next 2 weeks, we have millions of people now being aware of ALS. Let’s say this Ice bucket challenge inspires only ONE person, that one person may some day find a cure for this disease! BE POSITIVE!

Don’t Waste Water

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There have been many people complaining that the ice bucket challenge wastes a lot of water. People are not wasting water for the sake of fun, they are raising awareness for a deadly disease. It is a medium that is being used for a good cause. For further explanation read “The 5 reason that the Ice Bucket Challenge is so effective is:” above. What have people who post such pictures achieved? What have you done for ALS or for the water crisis in Africa by posting such pictures?

Sure, I do agree together with many people who took the ice bucket challenge, that we shouldn’t waste water. In certain places in Africa and India, people may want to approach raising awareness for ALS in a different manner than using ice/water.

But wait… there’s a twist!

Watch this video below:

Accordingly to National Geographic, it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt. ONE SINGLE T-SHIRT!

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Which is enough for one person to drink for 900 days! 900 DAYS!

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So to the people who don’t want to “waste” water on this ALS Ice bucket challenge, are you willing to sacrifice that cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now?

I took the challenge, I donated

If you do want to donate, I suggest donating to your local ALS charity so that people in your region can benefit from it, for e.g. if you are in Canada, you can donate to http://www.ALS.CA/ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE

That’s my take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! What’s yours?