Consistency: The Difference Between Being Foolish And Realistic

My favorite quote is arguably one said by one of my personal heroes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it involves realization versus expectations:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Think about this carefully. Emerson is a proponent of the mercurial, urging others to live a life of spontaneity and not one of rehashed notions and inevitable actions. When someone develops a routine, whether it be vacuuming every Thursday afternoon or eating the same meal at the same time every day, that becomes tiresome in essence and destroys the possibility of creativity and living life in a different way.

In my own life I don’t often set plans beyond possibly having a ballpark idea of what will transpire on any given day. Beyond my work schedule, not much else is known. And you know what? I like it that way. It makes waking up a lot more interesting. It gives me a feeling deep down that what I am doing is significant in one way or another, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.

Case in point: last weekend I had plans with someone and didn’t really know what was going to happen. I knew we would be together around a certain time and spend the night together, that she would be the constant in a night of random and undetermined actions. My thought pattern was that, as usual, things would work things out themselves. And they did and it made for an interesting night with laughs and deep conversation and alcohol. A good amount of alcohol.

It’s kind of funny when I look at myself compared to other people I know, especially my parents, and how different my ideologies are and how I am very happy with who I am and the person I continue to become. And I am in no way rejecting their lifestyles or others who fall prey to the “hobgoblin” mindset that Emerson described, but I am saying that I would never live that way. Menial tasks can wait in my world because, frankly, life is too short. This also explains why I try (diligently) to drink good beer and spend my leisure time in the presence of others who provide redeemable values and entertainment. It isn’t any surprise that the people I tend to spend time with are more alike than different in the grand scheme.

So, I implore all of you to live outside the box and do something different today, tomorrow and the next day. Change things up because when you go to sleep you will be happy that you did and won’t be regret the things you decided against doing. It’s not a lesson in astrophysics, but with the way many people value their time and, in result, their lives as a whole, you’d be hard pressed in certain situations to realize the difference.

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