It’s better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left? – Jim Carrey
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far this year is that you can experience real joy when you have to work hard for something without getting something back for it. I know what you’re thinking — you need money to survive. But until you’ve had the opportunity to be a part of something that helps others even if it means you don’t benefit financially from it… until you’ve had that experience, you won’t truly understand what I mean.
I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of several internships and free work projects. Admittedly, some of them burned me out and left me passionless and tired, but others made me feel so fulfilled that I couldn’t part with them. It might be due to the fact that I work with such awesome people on these projects and it might be because they allow me to do the jobs I want to do in a positive environment. Whatever the list of reasons may be, I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in participating. It gives me purpose and drive, constantly reinforces and builds my skills, allows me to network with all kinds of great people, and looks great on my resume.
The principle of giving without expecting anything in return really applies to me right now, more than it ever has before. There’s something wrong with this Western view that we deserve things. We deserve our rights and we deserve to be paid and we deserve to be happy. Truth is, we don’t deserve anything. We’re given a life and we’re responsible for how we spend the time we’re given. There are consequences to how we choose to live, but that is our choice. In my opinion, it’s better to live life earning good things, not expecting to get them out of a misguided sense that we deserve them.