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O/T: LIFE-What Is It Really?

Little Bear

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LIFE: What Is It Really?
As I sit here in the early hours of the morning in the world of insomnia that I've made for myself I start to contemplate life and I wanted to share this with PM because I've come to respect a lot of you and have even come to think of some of you as friends. These are my thoughts from roughly 6am to 7:15am strewn out across the page. I hope that someone gets something out of my ramblings and my thoughts. If that can happen, then this was a success, but if nothing else it's something to read, right?
What is life? What is it really? Do you really experience life or is your life built around your own experiences? I'm only 22 years old, but I've lived a life that most wouldn't want to live, but others would love to be in. Life is what you make it. I want to delve into this subject to not only clear my own head, but to also involve different members and their opinions on what life really is, what feelings really are, and who we actually are as people. I'm going to go through many different aspects of life that help shape us as people and help shape different people's lives.

Money:
In my life I've been poor and I've had wealth. That's not to say that I myself have had wealth or poverty, but rather my family. I've noticed one thing though over the years... money doesn't buy you happiness. It buys some people an easier route to finding true happiness, but then for others they don't need money to help find happiness. These people rely on others to help shape what they see as their own happiness. Money in and of itself is worthless. It's just paper that humans have put a value on. Some people make their entire lives based around money and the value, but lose their own core values in the process. Money takes precedence over family, love, and the lives of people around them. Money can corrupt, or at least the idea of money can corrupt. Money has been equated with success now for as long as I can remember. To the masses having money is seen as success, but is that the true meaning of success? What about being a successful father? Maybe a successful mother, daughter, son, or child? What are those successes? Teaching your child how to walk. Seeing the child's first steps are meaningful to a person and a thing of true accomplishment. Is that not success? Is that not something to be proud of? What success means to each individual is different. Much of my life I have associated money with success, but as I age I realize that money isn't everything. It's about relationships. I'm not talking sexual or intimate, but rather relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. Caring for others and being there when they need me. That's what makes me successful. Money is just the icing on the proverbial cake of life that makes it easier for me to be there for people and take care of them. The money I make in this life doesn't go to me, but to the happiness and well-being of the people closest to me, be it family or future children or what-have-you. What does money mean in your life?

Family:
Family means something different to everyone. To some people it means their biological parents, a father and a mother. This is essentially the scientific idea of parents. 23 chromosomes from one parent and 23 from the other. There are a great deal of people who view this as greatest bond in the world. The bond between a mother and a child is viewed as the strongest bond in the world. Who do they usually give the child to when a divorce occurs? Unless the mother is raging lunatic with a drug habit, they tend to give it to the mother. But what about those people whose biological family left them or abused them? What do these people view as family? Typically these people cling to relationships with either the opposite or the same sex, or they cling to friendships. They view the people around them as extended family. When you can't find solace in your household, you're going to search out to find something that means something to you and something comfortable. This tends to be friendships. These are the people that are there for you when you need them. These people take care of you when you're ill (not strictly speaking physically here, but also emotionally or mentally) and call to make sure you're okay. Family is an idea. Inheritance of genes is just something you get when you develop from an embryo to a zygote to a fetus to a born baby. Family is what you make it. I'm closer to my mom and dad than anyone I know. They've been there for me throughout my entire life and my dad works upwards of 80 to 100 hours a week just to give me a better life than he has. I cherish every single moment I spend with him and I think that when he dies my entire world will shatter, at least for a period of time. That is family. What does family mean to you?

Communication:
I've had what has been clinically diagnosed as a medium to severe stutter since I was in the second grade. Communication is hard for me. The internet has been a way for me to bond with people without the anxiety of that first meeting. The anxiety has been so bad that I will literally not go certain places because I have to speak to people. It's so bad when new teachers who don't know me do that whole "go around the room and introduce yourselves" thing I will literally start panicking even if I'm on the complete other side of the room of where it starts. The people at different places around town know exactly what I want when I walk in their establishments because I've made my prescience known, but not on my own terms. It's a blessing some ways because it's made me who I am today, but it's also a curse because I can't walk up to someone and start a conversation. It's hard because when someone I don't know well talks to me I freeze up and I'll even tell people I don't know the answer to something when I could go on a 30-minute rant explaining it in more detail just because I don't want to put them through the pain of having me sit there and stutter and stammer like I'm Michael J. Fox on a turn-table. It's also because of the rejection. Some people say "slow down" or "it's okay, take your time." None of that helps. I went through 10 years or so of speech therapy and I still stutter just as bad today as when the first day it began. I could literally be a speech therapist if I wanted to. I know that much about it. It's crippling to some and it makes it harder to find people I trust and people who will accept me for me, but you know what the real amazing thing is? I work through it. I've accomplished a great deal of what I want to do because I haven't given up. Communication is so important in this world. What do people who end up going into job titles always hear? Communication is important. It can help you rise to the highest peaks of what we as people know as the business world, or it can put you in the poor house just because you don't communicate well with others. I've seen communication, or the lack of it, ruin marriages and keep life long bonds alive. Sometimes it may be better to keep your mouth shut, but then again at other times it's the best thing for a relationship (once again not speaking in purely romantic/sexual/intimate here, but any relationship between two people). Look at your life and ask yourself... How important is communication in my life?

Pain:
For years I've subscribed to the idea that pain is what makes us human. Pain is what makes the world feel. Without pain, without suffering, we wouldn't know what joy is. The world would have no idea what feeling is. Speaking in purely scientific terms pain is essentially feeling. Our skin is many layers deep and we can only feel because of the sensitivity of the deeper layers. Is this not pain? Pain allows us to feel all sorts of different sensations. Pain in the terms of love and intimacy can bring different people to different conclusions. The emotional pain of losing someone you love or having someone leave you can bring you to the depths of despair and self-disgust. It shows you the real depths and rock bottom of human emotion. This type of pain can bring someone to the point of putting a gun in their mouths or as they're driving thinking about how easy it would be to just let go of the wheel and hit the gas harder to make sure they wouldn't live through that instance that the car hits the pole. I've personally been to that point. I may be young, but I believe that I have felt love and the pain of losing someone I care about. They say you only get three great loves in your life, and at this point I feel like I've already been through the spectrum of one of them. I was depressed for months and wanted to end it many days, but from that I found the depths that pain can bring you to. I feel that that pain made me a better person. It showed me the depths of pain, but with that it showed me how great I can feel on the other side of the spectrum. Pain allowed me, and I'm sure has allowed others, to feel alive.
Of course we also have to look at the other side of the pain spectrum as well. We as bodybuilders and people who train to reach the heights of what we can really call the epitome of what we feel our bodies can do and look like. To reach those places we have to go through the pain of training and some people the pain of eating. We work through the pain to get the results we want, but over time we've learned to love the pain. The pain of training is something we've come to associate with pleasure (endorphins aside of course). Some people may view this as sick, but others view it completely differently. Different people view it as an escape. So in this instance, pain acts as an escape from the rest of the world. We go to our own "safe zones" or "caves" to endure the pain of training to find that balance in life. This pain has shaped me into becoming more confident in myself and a more outgoing individual. Of course most of the time I am reserved due to the speech impediment and my height (I'm only 5'2 and 175 or so). People make jokes and people stare, but at the end of the day I feel better about myself for going through this pain of training. It has brought me to a new realm of happiness and has shaped my future career paths (I'm double majoring at a major university in Kinesiology with a double concentration in exercise science and exercise leadership, and Dietetics, which will eventually lead me to getting my RD and becoming a registered dietitian as well with all the other different career options I want to do before I die). This pain is part of who I am. How does pain affect your life or shape you as a person?

Love:
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum (at least in the general public's eyes of course... since we know that pain can equal love) we have love. Love can make people kill and love can make people save people's lives. Love can bring you to the depths of the human emotion (the sadness when someone dies or when your loved one leaves you) or to the highest points of the human emotional spectrum (the love you find with another person, of course in this instance as well we could be looking at the love we find in ourselves as well... it's all open to interpretation). Love is the same thing as pain. It lets us feel alive. You love family, you love friends, you love what you do, and you love to train. Be it an animal who you grew up with or the crazy uncle making fart jokes at Thanksgiving dinner, you love. Love makes people do crazy things, but love also makes people give the world to others. Through the power of love my dad works so hard to give me what I have today. Through the power of love I come home unannounced just to see the look on his face when he sees me walking in the front door. Love is what you make it. What would you do for love? What does love mean to your life? How has it shaped you as a person?

Conclusion:
In this life we have different feelings and experiences that shape who we are. I've learned over the years that you're alone in this world. Nobody can be in your head. You're the only person in your head who has thoughts, can express them, and who can conjugate different ideas in your own head. Once you wake up and before you go to bed, you're the only person in your life, but through this life and the experiences that we go through as human beings we find some sort of hope. This hope is that at some point we can impact another person's life and hope that they impact ours just as much. Relationships, money, love, and pain are only small parts in a huge spectrum of what make us up as human beings and what can make our lives shine or fade away. Life is complex and hard at times, but it can give people so much joy that their faces hurt from smiling so big. I'm going to leave this with a quote from Garden State that I think truly sums up what life is.

"I know it hurts. That's life. If nothing else, It's life. It’s real, and sometimes it fuckin’ hurts, but it's sort of all we have"
 
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Emery

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Very true, the good and the bad...

I am grateful for it and hope to live to a ripe old age, even though things doe get routine, it's up to me to break out of that routine.

My family is my priority but, bodybuilding is my one hobby that helps me to make it through those mundayne days. It is something I can count on, is healthy and helps me with the tension and anxiety the day can bring.

Life is good. I am fortunate to be healthy and able bodied. I may have aches and pains but there are people out there right now on dialysis, in chemo centers and paralyzed.

I am blessed that I have been allowed to have this life!
 

MR. BMJ

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I didn't read the whole post, and i'm not gonna get too deep into this....but:

LIFE: What Is It Really?
It's what you, yourself makes of it.


That's my VERY simplified answer:)
 

Phidias

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It's about relationships. I'm not talking sexual or intimate, but rather relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. Caring for others and being there when they need me. That's what makes me successful. Money is just the icing on the proverbial cake of life that makes it easier for me to be there for people and take care of them.

THAT! ;)
 

Diesel City

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A series of trials. No matter what, "shit" will come your way. Our attitude in dealing with that "shit" is what defines our character.
 

w8tlifterty

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Good read.... I've been contemplating the 'meaning' of life a lot lately. Taking great consideration into the relationships I've abused lately. Diesel mentioned character... and how we deal w/ things thrown our way and how we treat other's in the process. I've realized I've been slippin' lately and neglecting certain very important people in my life.


"Garden State" Great flick by the way. Natalie Portman says it while in the bathtub w/ Zach Braff. Awesome moment in the movie...
 
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Athlete

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(BEWARE: long, philosophical, and to some degree political, rant below)

"Life" or "Intelligent life" is what happens when a large enough number of cells flock together in just the right way to allow for consciousness, which might have its root somewhere in the realm of quantum mechanics (quantum entanglement and superposition).

My theory on this is that the universe might be somewhat like a cosmic roll of film being projected on a giant multi-dimensional screen. While we only see one frame at a time (hence.. well, time), the entire film always exists, as does all of our experiences. We're just not consciously aware of them all at once. This doesn't necessarily have to kill free will, if our minds are connected to a higher plane outside of time, and all of our decisions have already been made (by ourselves).

What you describe in this thread is of course human life. The intelligent life of a body of cells which has flocked together in such a way that it allows for certain emotions, expressions , thoughts and needs to come into existence. Quite a few are triggered by hormones and then interpreted by our brain.

The meaning of an intelligent alien's life may be very different from our own limited view of things... just as a spider who eats it's partner (or accepts being eaten) sees things very differently.

In my opinion, we humans have a rather unique option available to us.. the fact that we are intelligent enough to know what life is (at least to the degree that our physical form allows) means that we can choose to ignore (at least some of) our natural instincts and go another way. This usually leads to what we call "confusion", "tragedy", or "unhappiness".. because it's not what the mind/body wants (during our teenage years of hormonal roller-coaster it doesn't even know what it wants). But it doesn't have to be this way.

Just as we can force our body to grow to a level it is uncomfortable at with hard training (and if you so please, steroids), we can force our mind to accept new ways with proper training too (and drugs of course). The brain is after all like a lump of clay.. work at it hard enough and you can shape it into anything you like (some things like your stuttering can be fixed too, but if you don't know exactly what's causing it it's a lot harder to find the correct method). We're being shaped as we speak.. by media, our family and friends.. society in general. In a grander scheme of things, even cosmic forces like gravity and radiation among other things.

Our bodies and minds, while they may often want similar things due to their similar makeup and the fact that they are connected.. they may not want the exact same things. The best way to achieve whatever it is you wish for, is to make both the mind and the body want the same thing.

Is your stuttering a mind problem or a bodily problem? Is progress perhaps hindered mostly by your anxiety or is there an underlying physical issue? Either way, break it down bit by bit, analyze yourself like you analyze a sample under a microscope, with total self-honesty.

It may be a part of both. One thing that may help is being open and honest with your problems before even starting a discussion. Make people aware. I had a co-worker who stuttered. I made him feel more secure by showing that I knew what he meant already when he couldn't finish a word, as well as showing patience and giving him time.

Some things may just be a part of who we are. Unchangeable with todays level of knowledge and technology. That doesn't mean it can't be fixed in the future. But like Stephen Hawking accepts his condition, so we can learn to accept whatever our unfixable problems may be and make the most of what we've got.

On the subject of "wants". Most people want children... I don't. Most people find it strange, like they find bodybuilding strange and unnatural. Which, if going by the opinion of the masses, it is. I say, screw popular opinion.

My conclusion: Do whatever you want. Don't fall into someone else's mold, or care what other people think of you (but be open to intelligent criticism and be prepared to change your mind if you're proven wrong). Who cares if you stutter. If they make fun of you (which is mostly not the case) they are the ones with problems, not you.

Sometimes being "normal" is just as hard, if for example you have friends who think being normal is bad (an extreme example of peer pressure; try being part of a jihadist group and openly turning atheist. You might as well blow yourself up, same outcome).

Keep an open mind and be prepared to change your opinion often. Experiment! This helps you grow as well as not becoming an easy target for people wanting to control you (sects, politicians, scam artists). I change my mind about stuff almost every day. I always try to make sure that when someone asks me an important question, I add "but I might change my mind tomorrow". This does not mean that I don't stand up for my beliefs.. I do. But if I'm proven wrong, I'm man enough to admit defeat and change my mind.

Think long and hard about whatever someone tells you. And unless you want the easy way out; don't fall for anyone's (friends, co-workers, partners, companies, governments) propaganda. Form your own opinion by doing proper research and listening to both sides of any argument or story.

Propaganda (molding our minds to agree with a certain side) as well as ignorance has gotten many a bad leader into his/her seat. It has also gotten innocent people in trouble, allowed for the rich to get richer, and the poor to get poorer.. without much resistance (if any) from anyone.

World leaders are sadly not always comprised of people who wish us all well. I've found that people who want peace generally don't care about power. But they should, that's the only way to make a difference (or get shut down by the ones who make a living from war once you reach office, unless you fall into their mold).

I've heard that one American president wanted to change the world.. but he was convinced by "advisors" that he shouldn't. They took his dream away.
 

Phidias

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Also

When at death's doors, if you look back and realize you've smiled much more that you've let yourself be hurt, then chances are high you had a great life.

As for why we were born and walk this beautiful Earth every day... well, don't get caught in overthinking (more questions than answers - or shall I say truths - anyways) and just have fun. When all is said and done, it's the only thing that will have really mattered.

:)
 

LATS

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your goal in life should be this.. when people talk about you after your death they do so with a smile on their face and sadness in their heart that you are gone.. if you can accomplish this you led a great life no matter how much money or fame you achieved..
 

kingpeon

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I believe the meaning of life is (paraphrasing Matthew 22:37;39) to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And to love thy neighbour as thyself. Everything else in life falls into place perfectly when these two commandments are kept.
 

HawaiiMuscle

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When at death's doors, if you look back and realize you've smiled much more that you've let yourself be hurt, then chances are high you had a great life.

As for why we were born and walk this beautiful Earth every day... well, don't get caught in overthinking (more questions than answers - or shall I say truths - anyways) and just have fun. When all is said and done, it's the only thing that will have really mattered.

:)
Phidias i love the way you think, thank you.

To the OP, good thread. Thanks a bunch for getting the wheel turning again. Theirs some things not right in my life (which I've been putting off) and these things need to change now.
 

tsimehc75

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When at death's doors, if you look back and realize you've smiled much more that you've let yourself be hurt, then chances are high you had a great life.

As for why we were born and walk this beautiful Earth every day... well, don't get caught in overthinking (more questions than answers - or shall I say truths - anyways) and just have fun. When all is said and done, it's the only thing that will have really mattered.

:)
well said PHIDIAS

OP--very good thread bro
 

blacksterbmw

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Good read guys, enjoy it when ur here and don't take things to seriously as no matter how bad or shit it can be, at the end of the day we're all headin for the same destination. So worries and stress are just a waste of energy, so long as you have family, friends and health all else is just a bonus
 
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babyface4life

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I somewhat agree what you say about money and happyness . I was told money can actract the wrong kind of people in your life who pretend to be your friends and their not, they just use you. I , myself, want to think money can be the answer to everything when it can bring more problems if you let it. Otherwise , dude , i think your really trippin .
 

gyno

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Man, if I were some of you guys, and truly believed in nothing after this life, I would be pretty depressed. You're essentially saying nothing in this life matters. That's depressing. Like, gun in your mouth depressing.
 

Phidias

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Man, if I were some of you guys, and truly believed in nothing after this life, I would be pretty depressed.
As you so rightly say, what may or not happen after life is just that... A BELIEF.

So since it's only guessing (and often second guessing cause after all, as with everything we have no certainty about, it's not unusual to change our mind often in a lifetime), let's just make the most of everyday loving, laughing, and trying to be the best human beings we can be, which means treating others as we want to be treated.

And above all, let's stop stressing over things we have absolutely no control on: when we're gonna die, how, and what will be "the next step".

Enjoy the moment. Or at least try to convince yourself it's worthy to do so... cause there's truly no other way around. :)
 

gyno

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As you so rightly say, what may or not happen after life is just that... A BELIEF.

So since it's only guessing (and often second guessing cause after all, as with everything we have no certainty about, it's not unusual to change our mind often in a lifetime), let's just make the most of everyday loving, laughing, and trying to be the best human beings we can be, which means treating others as we want to be treated.

And above all, let's stop stressing over things we have absolutely no control on: when we're gonna die, how, and what will be "the next step".

Enjoy the moment. Or at least try to convince yourself it's worthy to do so... cause there's truly no other way around. :)
Phidias, if there are no consequences for our actions, who says that love is good? I mean, if there are absolutely no reprocussions, than why be self LESS. That seems silly. Love is selfless, but why be selfless if there is no justice. If I honestly believed there were no afterlife I would spend every second of every day seeking the maximum amount of pleasure, and then, when I felt like I could not find anything greater, I would blow my brains out. And don't try to say that love is the "ultimate gratification", because when you genuinely love to the fullest extent, you get taken advantage of a lot, more often than not actually.
 

kingpeon

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There most definitely is an afterlife. God's Word proclaims it and multitudes of first-hand accounts of people experiencing it make this reality undeniable.

No disrespect to anyone's beliefs, but life is not about "having fun" unless you believe that our bodies simply go into the ground and rot and there is nothing more after bodily death.

This is not the case. We are spiritual beings and our individual spirit and soul have been created in God's own image, which is eternal, and made with the plan of experiencing everlasting communion with Himself.

Those who stubbornly maintain their unbelief til death, I'm sad to say, will one day stand before their Creator and give account to why they did not trust in the Lord. It will be too late for salvation then. Life is all about serving God. Those who do not serve the One Who gives life will have their life, body, spirit and soul, taken from them, forever.

Harsh words, perhaps, but it is the truth.
 

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