Submitted Date 04/13/2019

His name was Alex Honnold, and I thought he was going to die. How would he not? There he was, thousands of feet about the ground (up to 3600 to be exact), clung to a towering granite wall by means of nothing but the insane strength of his fingers and some well-placed feet. Yet he was calm and collected, and continued to rise higher above the majestic Yosemite Valley until he finally scrambled atop the behemoth they call El Capitan, 3600 feet above the ground. Thus, as one of the most incredible feats in human history, he became the only person to ever free climb the mountain – the largest wall of granite in the world. He did this with no gear. No rope. No belay. Just the mechanics of his body, and perhaps most importantly, his mind.


As I left the theater, Free Solo having ended, I felt inspiration on a level I had not felt in a very long time. I could not help but hold my own life up against Mr. Honnold's and think, "where am I? What am I going to do with my life?" Here was a man who had created a life entirely of his choosing, and he was very successful at it. He is perhaps the most renowned free-climber in the world, yet he doesn't do it for the fame or money. He does it simply because he loves it – because it makes him feel alive.


I walked out of that theater and realized: I did not feel alive. I felt very much dead, and what's a life worth living when you don't feel alive at all? I had dreams. I had passions. I had felt alive before, and I knew what to do to feel alive again, but I was not acting on it. I could look upon people living their best lives, realizing their dreams and think, "someday". But I felt unmotivated. I felt uninspired. I now understand that the "someday" mentality is toxic – that it corrodes the foundations of dreams and fills the holes with longing and depression, apathy and resent.


I very much needed some inspiration, and Alex Honnold and his story documented in Free Solo provided some. As I rode home I felt determined to live my life, to embrace challenges, work hard, and experience what the world has to offer. He had done it against all odds, so why couldn't I?


That burst of life lasted for a little bit, but soon enough I found myself wasting my days doing entirely unproductive and useless things, occasionally stumbling across an Instagram post or two documenting someone living their best life (most likely someone atop a mountain across the world) and I'd once again think, "someday". I'd listen to some great music and say, "I'll write some eventually," but I would not walk over to the piano to begin. I'd look at the ever-growing stack of books on my desk that I'd begun to read, but not read a single page. I would think a lot, but very few ideas would make their way onto paper. I had even landed some freelancing jobs that I was once ecstatic about, yet I felt no excitement nor drive to complete them.


I was once again dead, but this time I was fully aware that it was entirely my decision. I had no excuse to not be living my best life. All the opportunities were in front of me. I was being a hypocrite and I knew it. I simply was unmotivated, uninspired.


I don't think I'm special in this regard. I think we all have had periods in our life where we feel this way. It may even be a daily occurrence. But that's no way to go through life, is it? Just simply being here – no passion, no drive, our eyes lacking that beautiful sparkle one gets when he/she is engaged in something they love. It's a miserable state, and one you'll never escape without inspiration and motivation, but that inspiration won't just magically arrive in your thoughts; you must be in the proper mentality to accept it. But who am I to say what is proper? YOU find what that means for YOU.


Find your heroes. Find your inspirations. Hold them close. Revive them each day. 30 seconds of sudden motivation will not get you through whatever it is you wish to do. Keep your excitement alive. Too many wonderful dreams die with the "someday" attitude – "someday I'll revive this passion and do something with it. But for now… I'll relax".


A life without inspiration is not a life lived, but that inspiration may be hard to find. I believe that there is something out there for everyone – something special in this universe that connects and vibes with you on a deep, fulfilling level. Some people find this early in their life and it stays with them forever. Others may not find this for many, many years. But it's out there. I cannot tell you the "right" way to find it, assuming of course that it's not already been found. All I am going to ask is this: what inspires you? What makes you feel alive? What – when you hear of it – makes you giddy with excitement, like you just can't wait until you can live it? Whatever it is, don't let the inspiration it gives you be a fleeting feeling. That inspiration is perhaps the most invaluable thing someone could have. Keep it in your heart. Let it run through your veins, filling up your body with vitality. Let it be that spark in your eye that people see and say, "they're loving life".


Do what you love and love life. Share that love with the world. Inspire others and be inspired. Remember that others look up to you just as you look up to others. We all could use a little inspiration, so what inspires you?

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