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It's funny you call it a "lesson" because I learned the exact opposite "lesson."

It came to me several years ago when I was visiting an aquarium in Hawaii, out of all places. One of the videos they were showing explained the life that plankton live. These are micro-organisms that literally drift in the ocean and go wherever the currents take them. And in the end, most are eaten by a larger organism. One might argue that this is a fine way for a plankton to live, because their "purpose" in life is to end up as food for something else.

And many humans live their lives as plankton. Why? The simplest and most realistic answer is that it's the path of least resistance. It's much easier to drift in life and go wherever the currents take you, than to try to swim and go where you actually want to go. But to say (or, in the article's case, imply) that this is the right "lesson" is a bit annoying.

After that aquarium visit, I had about a week to think things true. And I realized that I had lived my life as a plankton up until then, and it had not resulted in much happiness. I was always reacting what was happening to me, and letting people push me around much like ocean currents push plankton around. In the end, I decided that I would rather be a shark. And that's when my life started to change for the better in almost every way.




Living your life as plankton is the same thing as never going outside your comfort zone. And while a minuscule few have great things fall into their lap, most of us have to push outside the comfort zone to find anything meaningful and worthwhile in life.


I personally find it useful to have a plankton mode and a shark mode, switching between them as necessary. Drifting is useful at times, but you definitely miss out on many of the best parts of life if you don't push yourself.




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