Striving to Live, Living to Strive

Striving to Live, Living to Strive

Strive_Live Aug 1 2015

Sometimes I find that living is a very strange thing.

Here is what I sum up about our perspectives in life.

The Life Phase of Fighting to Letting Go

We fight, because fighting is a survival skill we naturally acquire. Even we are not like the ancient human beings who strived to survive day by day within the wild, we still do not leave the fighting spirits behind. We are continually bombarded by many “shoulds” under competition and fast pace of development. Under the long time chasing after “shooting star”, we turn to question the real meaning of all the hard work – must we always have to struggle a long way to attain the simplicity of happiness? Perhaps we let go and just be happy… can we?

“We seem to pursue the big dreams which interestingly point to the same direction of the simplicity of happiness.

Then From Letting Go back to Fighting

Let go and be well settled with the simplicity ideology – it is no less easier. The harder we try to let go, the more we realize how difficult it is to stay away. They can be a job promotion when we just decide to spend more time with own family, or the big sales announcement as we just got satisfied with the wardrobe of clothes, or we hope to find the own space for self, only to be intruded by the sudden request of friends.

In persistence on staying simple and ordinary, we battle against the outer temptations which are not grasped by us, yet just washed over us naturally, whether we want them or not. And so we in return fight against “own demons”, the glory of desires/gratification. Being exhausted, we wonder, “Isn’t the struggle on staying simple also as hard (as being complicated) – we still face the outer pressure, complications and even the unresolved issues?”

I remember an article I wrote on the difficult journey towards freedom (, which share great similarities to the contrast between the simplicity of living, and striving. While we pursue the real taste of freedom, often we need to go a hard way, which is not free at all, because this is the true nature of freedom – it is built upon hard work, unwanted guidelines which may challenge our ego/self desire. Same for simplicity of living and the hard achievement. When we strive to truly taste the beauty of simplicity of living, we realize that we are continually “striving” to attain such goal.

“The pursuit of simplicity is no simple at all. It is a hard and never ending process which requires our constant conquering of own desire and will.”

Which One is the Right Way?

There is no absolute right saying that we should merely achieve/fight, or we must learn the simplicity way of living. I personally find it hard to strictly follow one way, and completely object the other. The ways of striving to live, and living to strive, are indeed inseparable and interconnected. We may decide to be simple, then weeks later, the surrounding changes, and we change, hence we become empowered to pursuit certain meaning in life. Yet both the “us” at the present and past are equally real and making sense.

The ways of striving to live, and living to strive are important, and it is for us to take a balance in between. The point is, it is not about being simple or ambitious. It is the journey of finding our way in life. The ever growing and changing life we walk on. As long as we attend to our hearts, and constantly ask ourselves what we truly want, then we walk the journey of truth and meaning.

Sometimes we fight for what is good for us; sometimes we have to let go to remain own sanity. It’s a balance, a lifelong battle on choosing between sides, yet when it feels right, you then find that balance.

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