Everything You Need Is On the Ground

Chasing meaningless goals higher and higher only leads to a life of regret.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” — Theodore Roosevelt

This title is inspired by a song from ROSÉ. It speaks to me of working my whole life to achieve lofty goals, only to later realize those goals are hollow and unfulfilling once met.

Everyone told me how successful I was, but why didn’t I feel that way?

It is because what I sought had no personal meaning. Sure, I had some fun along the way. I met amazing people and had my share of great moments. But I did it because it was expected of me.

I climbed the corporate ladder. My whole life revolved around getting high on that ladder, one wrung after the next. With each step up, I got more money, responsibility and respect.

I did well. I helped provide a great life for my family. I have no regrets in that respect. But something happened when I crossed the age of 50. I began to feel the weight of regret, of things left unexplored and undone. The existential void yawned above me, the true reward for my hollow efforts.

Upon reflection, I had an epiphany of sorts regarding what was important:

  • Meaningful endeavors

  • Family and community

  • Simple pleasures

All of these non-things were on the ground all along. There was no need to climb that ladder. The higher I climbed, the further I traveled from them. The distance grew so great, I actually felt the weight of it.

I no longer have to trade time for money in meaningless endeavors. I am not required to battle the corporate culture for supremacy. Here on the ground, I chase my dreams and the meaning behind them. I do not fear failure. I do not live with regret.

I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and my gaze fixed on the stars.

Join me! Come down from those lofty heights where the air is thin, cold and biting. Ground yourself in meaning and begin living a self-directed life. It will never be easy, but you too can chase your dreams and live without regret.