Go All The Way
There are many in the world who are perfectly happy and content with average goals and average lives which is perfectly achievable with average effort. And that’s not really a bad idea. Objectively speaking, average paths bring with it safety and security which many value most.
But for the rest of us who aren’t satisifed with it, who are hungry for more and are stupid enough to take the risks to get what we want, the effort needed and the grind necessary is phenomenal. There will be no safety on the way, there will be no comfort, just blood sweat and tears. All until the way to the top, where the view is hopefully worth it all.
I was thinking about this the other day and came across a narrated video on youtube of a poem by Charles Bukowski. It perfectly sums up what lies in front of me and many like me who were unfortunate enough to be unsatisfied with the normal life that could be had.
I am already on that path, having left the safe road long back with many risks taken to hopefully get what will make me content some day, make me feel like I have lived a good life. That is what I want, that is all I want. I dont know if I will achieve it and the odds are stacked against me.
But it’s ok. The struggle is worth it. I’d rather be burnt trying to truly live than to live having already died. In the words of Bukowski:
“I wanted the whole world or nothing.”
Charles Bukowski is an interesting person. A storied American writer who is widely respected for his work all around the globe. He was a struggling alcoholic and was eternally depressed, which reflects in his writing. Dark thoughts and pessimism are common themes, which is an unfortunate result and the sad representation of his life and the things around him.
But what defined him really was his love for writing and what all he was willing to do for it. His passion for writing was romantic and almost like an obsession and it showed.
That is what I learnt from this strange and dark character, a poet who was a bonafide pessimist and nihilist who did not care about anything else than what he loved doing most, writing.
The poem, Go All The Way is a letter to us all who want more from life. A plea to go all in and not give up. To go through what life throws at us and edure for no other reason than that the fact that in the end it will be worth it as long you love what you do.
Hence, I wanted to share this poem with you here.
Here it is in text below and the video is shared too. The video has nice visuals and effects to express the feel of the poem better. Pick what suits you.
The Poem: Go All The Way
“If you’re going to try, go all the way.
Otherwise, don’t even start.
This could mean losing girlfriends, wives,
relatives and maybe even your mind.
It could mean not eating for three or four days.
It could mean freezing on a park bench.
It could mean jail.
It could mean derision.
It could mean mockery — isolation.
Isolation is the gift.
All the others are a test of your endurance,
of how much you really want to do it.
And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.
And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.
If you’re going to try, go all the way.
There is no other feeling like that.
You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.
You will ride life straight to perfect laughter.
It’s the only good fight there is.”