Not Surviving, But Living

by Keane Neal-Riquier about a year ago in happiness

Surviving in the World Tip #3

Not Surviving, But Living

Surviving in the World Tip #3: Not Merely Surviving, but Living.

Living in this world, and I mean genuinely living, with the love of our hearts, and the logic in our minds coinciding, is another problematic feat for many of us.

I was recently listening to Khalid’s song, "Alive," and I find the chorus to be truly awe-inspiring. It strikes a fire in me, and it should do the same for you. If you haven’t heard it, it goes:

Gatekeeper, can you show me more to life? Lately, I’ve been living out of spite Grim Reaper, just give me one more night I need another chance to say goodbye I shouldn’t have to die to feel alive.

Often times our pesky little heart can get us into trouble, and it can make us spontaneous and erroneous. Y’know, remember that time you did that thing you shouldn’t have done, but did anyway? Don’t lie, I know there’s at least one!

Our Pesky Little Heart, and Our Big Ol' Brains


As young adults, we aren't the best at regulating our passions, and it shows. Coming in to a new world without a clue of how it works is no easy task. It often leads to reckless spontaneity, senseless mistakes, and ending up in some unknown location on Sunday morning.

The problem is, our heart and our soul don’t have a brain. They aren't smart, at least not in the sense in which the world deems intelligence. We've all had that time when we did something in the name of passion, and we also know this isn't always the best way to do things. We can often find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.

We shouldn't forget that it can get things right too—it just doesn't know how to say it to the world. It’s sort of like the guy who sounded like the rambling maniac in the beginning of the horror movie, screaming in the end, “I F*CKING TOLD YOU SO!” Because, y’know, that’s how horror movies always end… Anyhoo, that is why we end up leading the way with our big ol' brains.

The brain can do everything the heart can't. It can talk and put things together with logic and words. It just isn't fair. However, the brain can't always put together all the nuances, and connect all the dots. This leaves it playing the odds, being predictable, and living an uninspired life.

One thing our heart is good at is having fun and being happy. We are sentient beings, and therefore emotions are a big part of our lives. In a society dominated by materialism, our many wants manifest themselves in things money can buy. This can often lead to us chasing the high-paying job that leaves us drained at the end of the night. This manifestation is the brain trying to make sense of what the hearts wants, leading us into something that will leave us unfulfilled.

Our Snooty Logic and Sloppy Passion

Our logic is like some snooty guy named Sir Charles Goodwin… Sitting in our skulls like it’s a mansion, talking in that elegant, yet arrogant voice, being that know-it-all show-off, he only listens to the greatest hits of Bach and Mozart, while sipping on scotch that cost no less than $500, and yelling at his son, because Yale just isn't good enough. If there’s anyone named Charles, this is (probably) not a personal attack on you. Just painting a picture.

Then our soul comes along off the streets, stumbling into the mansion, slurring these drunken words, “Aye you! Yeah, you. Silky-wilky robe guy. Don’t hide from me. HEY! Take tha cuppa teaaa, and shhhttuff it where the sun don’t shine. Thisss. This is my house now. I’m taking over!” And that, my dear readers, is what I like to call passion. The opening moments when you first start chasing something you truly want.

Passion is sloppy, it’s a drunken slew of illogical freedom. It is going to Switzerland because you want some chocolate, it's moving to a new city because you want to run away, it's living a scruffy life because your passions always beat out a perfected daily hygiene routine.

We mustn't forget, Sir Charles always has his security team, and it’s not long before they will be up and ready to take that drunken passion back to the streets. Thus begins the battle between logic and passion.

But I digress...

So how does this all tie into Khalid’s lyrics? Well, I have a reason... It’s out there somewhere in my digressions.

Oh, yes!

So, why is it that we always have to imagine dying in 30 days to think of what we want to do?

One of the reasons is that we live in a world that is absolutely dominated by logical ways of thought. Taking an uncalculated risk is frowned upon, because we just have so much to lose, right? At least that's what our brains say.

The problem with always calculating our risks is that the lack of novel experience still ends up leading to us losing the most important thing—our happiness and fulfillment. The best things in life come when you aren't looking for them.

Our heart and soul is the center of what we truly want to do, and ignoring that is, in turn, ignoring ourselves.

If we like to claim we are the wise and intellectual species in the world, then why is it that we continue to hurt ourselves by developing a society that doesn’t reward us for being ourselves?

It might be just me, but it sounds like we aren't as wise and intellectual as we think we are. Maybe, just maybe, we are supposed to defy the ways of living that we have deemed viable, so we can find our true selves.

What I did not tell you, is that our passion, that drunken mess that strolled in from the streets, is actually Dr. Charlie Goodwin; Sir Charles Goodwin’s twin brother. Ah, yes, my digressions always tie back in!

Our passion and our soul is just as intelligent as our intellect, and I only wish we were aware of that.

It is when Charlie and Charles work together that we find something in our life that is worth loving, and when we start to live. How is this so? It’s because that is when Charlie cleans up a bit, and doesn’t get into drunken bar fights, and Charles dresses down for once, and remembers that being a success isn’t found by masquerading as something society deems valuable; success is when we find something that we can happily sustain.

Money and fame is not everything, and we have to remember that. Doing what you want isn’t everything, and we have to remember that too.

So I ask this:

Did your Charlie take over the house in a roaring coup d’etat?

Did Charles throw his brother back on the streets?

Or are your Charlie and Charles working together, filling each other’s weaknesses?

Keane Neal-Riquier
Keane Neal-Riquier
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Keane Neal-Riquier

Writing and storytelling have been a passion of mine ever since I was young. I look to dig deep into what it means to be human, and this is what you will find at the very core of my writing.


See all posts by Keane Neal-Riquier