“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman)
Being bothered is a good indicator of being alive. And, man, can we be bothered of thousands of things!? Not being able to buy the newest iPhone in time. Being late from work. The Sunday drivers. The children in Africa. A friend having cancer. A bad president elected against our will. The global situation. The fact that you’ll die. Not looking like Cameron Diaz when she was 25. Bla-bla, bla-bla, bla-bla…
And it’s not only the big things.
Should you take the cab from the airport? Or spending the money bothers you? Then you should get on the bus. Or holding your luggage for 45 minutes bothers you more? Which is less bothering? The discomfort of the bus or the price of the cab?
If you feel you are bothered by thousands of things, chances are that you are going to do nothing about them ’cause you aren’t really bothered by any of them.
What bothers us makes us motivated that determines our actions.
-> If you’re bothered by small things like the milk being too expensive, your wife not looking good enough, your car not being clean and not receiving your bonus on time you’re probably a small timer. But that’s all right.
-> If you’re really bothered about starvation or about humanity’s future you’re probably an think-big (who greatly contributes to feeding people or making the planet more peaceful or a Mars program or something). And that’s all right too.
I come from a small town. In this town people are small-time thinkers, mainly. My fellow university students didn’t care about what happened in the capital. Or outside of the country. Or about those lessons that weren’t directly connected to the exams. Being young and careless they were bothered about not having a good party, buses not going late enough to take them home, having to learn too much for tests, getting up early and too high rent.
Some of them remained in this small town, some of them went home to even smaller ones. After They don’t speak English and they don’t write blogs.
Without judging or looking down on these former fellow-students I must mention that we are quite different in this sense. Different stuff bothers us.
Even the idea of of working 9-to-5 bothers me. For them, even the idea of not having a secure job is bothering. It bothered me that the world was big, I was small and I saw almost nothing of it. It bothered them to leave home, friends and family to spend money on something non-essential and dangerous: traveling.
We are bothered by different things and come alive through different things. The most important and inevitable part is to know yourself well.
Based on the works of Abraham Maslow, an influential psychologist of the 20th century a pyramid of human needs was drawn. We are supposed to be bothered by these things.
Or to be a little bit more exact: we are bothered by the lack of deficiency needs (physiological, safety, belonging, esteem) and having fulfilled all of this we can go ahead to self-actualize.
The pyramid implies that when our lower needs are met we continue to self actualize. However Maslow claimed in mid-20th century America that this last category only applies to less than 1% of the population.
I’m not bothered by many things in life. I have few problems. Still, there’s something to keep me moving: I want to improve myself and my life. I want more passive income. I want more meaning. I want more quality time. I want to see more of the world. I want to understand much-much-much more about human behaviour. I’d like to speak fluent French, Polish, Spanish too. I’d like to write better articles.
Then, I’m bothered by the outer world too. I’m bothered a bit by homeless people on the streets of Budapest. I’m bothered by gypsy children having no chances in life. I’m bothered by the political situation in Hungary. So I do some charity. I volunteer at an organisation aiming to educate about the EU.
But do I have the burning desire? Not really. I’m bothered by a few things (between the 1 or 2 as the most successful do and thousands as very small-timers do) that are relatively natural (more natural than the bothers of the most successful and less natural than of most of the people I know).
How about you? Do you know what bothers you?
Thank you for your time!
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