Lately, Medium has a few good articles that make me thinking and pondering a few minutes. And this article is highly recommended to read and to ponder.
There are two states of being: surviving and thriving. To survive is to limit downside, to eliminate the risk of ruin — it means fulfilling our basic need for food and shelter and companionship. Thriving is different: It’s an attempt to transcend a state of existence not out of fear but out of desire and yearning.
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.
There are many people who are integrated but not differentiated, and their problem is mostly that they haven’t really done the work to expose themselves to the complexities surrounding them. They have been sucked into the ideologies of their family, or culture, or political affiliation, and they are seemingly happy to exist there. To them, it’s easy to ignore the excess noise in the modern world because they simply ignore it by default. But deep down, there is still emotional conflict because they know that they aren’t really living a life that’s true who they are and what they could be according to what their own body has experienced living in the world.
Then, there are people who are differentiated but not integrated. These people have exposed themselves to the different corners of the world, picked out the values that represent their individuality, but they have a hard time making it all cohere. The narrative structure that holds their life together is weak and the meaning of it all, fragile. Here, the conflict is less that they aren’t living a life that’s true to what they know deep down, but more so, it’s that they can’t act on what they know in their daily life.