Path Unknown.

In front of you is a dense forest. Alone your mind wanders of what lies ahead. The path will be treacherous at times. Will you survive what lies ahead?

Dark clouds lurk above.

Fear, worry, & doubt in every step.

Will I survive the path unknown?

 

I could just stay in the cozy open field.

Take the easy route.

Ride out my one life in a security blanket.

Imprisoned by doubt.

 

Step into the lush forest.

Embrace the path unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Dream?

This blog post is about the new American dream and my perspective on it. This post is not to demonize the traditional American dream or to tell you there is a “right” or “wrong” way to live your life. There are many different paths up the mountain.

 

Every decision leads to another. Even the smallest of steps can lead to a big decision in our life. Much of our lives are spent preparing, enduring, and recuperating from changes in our life. Suffering occurs when we resist the inevitable changes in our inner or outer environment. Our dreams change as well. Many achieve celebrity and find out they are even more miserable than before. We must adapt and change with our dreams.

Complacence and stagnation is the easiest route but in the long run, they often lead to disappointing results. Often the more difficult route leads to joy, contentment, and freedom. Freedom, in my opinion, is the most important concept for humanities overall happiness. Freedom is the American Dream. More importantly, freedom is the dream of all sentient beings.

I distinctly remember at 12 or 13 years old learning about the reality of the American dream. At this point in my childhood, I realized that the American dream sounded like a nightmare!! The American dream was not my dream. To work a job I disliked for 40 plus years and buy a house that would take 30 years to pay off sounded horrifying. I couldn’t believe that most people wanted this out of their one life. I wanted something different out of my life; to experience true freedom. But as the years went by, I slowly accepted my fate and forgot about my dreams of freedom. By the time I was 17, I wanted to be a millionaire with a wife and kids by the time I was 30 years old. In retrospect, I just wanted to fit in with societal norms. Societal norms are taught to us at an early age by family, teachers, commercials, tv shows, and movies. They shape our perspective at an early age. We end up accepting these norms to fit in so we don’t feel like an outcast. It’s ingrained in our DNA to want to be accepted so we are cast out of our tribe, which would end in our death. In our modern society, we have the freedom to question all societal norms and seek out like-minded individuals who share similar values.

In the past 3 years, I have questioned much of what I learned as a child/young adult about what success is. Is success having a career, wife, and two kids? Do I want a life blanketed with security or a life flourishing with freedom? Luckily my immediate family did not reinforce societal norms and thus allowed me to have an open mind. It was much easier for me to break out of the societal norms with a supportive and understanding family/friends. The biggest realization I have had was that my true dream is similar to what I enjoyed as a kid. I was mesmerized by maps, globes, and open space; now my dream is to travel and works remotely around the world. In many ways, my journey has allowed me to embrace my inner child. The child who was curious and open to new experiences. The inner child was just suffocated by fear, doubt, and worry.

I value freedom over security. I value love over fear; curiosity over indifference. With a shift of perspective comes a shift in our dreams. New possibilities can bring joy instead of fear. Your American dream is whatever you want it to be. Just remember each decision is ours to make and ours to take responsibility for.

Do you truly want freedom? Whats your dream? What must you let go of for you to live the life you want to live?

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

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The Sins of Pascal.

This post is part of an ongoing series I created about a young French Captain named Pascal. To learn more check out these posts. 

https://zenhoff.blog/2018/05/22/the-awakening-of-pascal/

https://zenhoff.blog/2018/05/07/the-life-of-pascal/

 

Sins of the past now present.

Pascal’s mind like a school of fish pacing in the deep blue sea.

Many mistakes.

Many lessons learned.

 

Pascal can not change his past.

Only his perception of it.

 

Pascal is only human.

Folly as the rest.

 

There will be mistakes on this voyage.

Hearts broken.

Ships sunk.

 

Forgiveness will let Pascal enjoy this moment.

Compassion will set him free.

 

 

Bon Voyage Young Pascal!

Bon Voyage Young Pascal!

Good luck on your journey!

 

The sea is calm.

But not your mind.

Anticipation gleaming from your eyes.

Butterflies fluttering in your stomach.

 

What wonders lie ahead?

What dangers will you have to overcome?

 

True strength comes from adversity.

True love from pain.

Keep going.

 

Even if you drown in the deep darkness of the sea.

You will have lived.

Lived with every breath.

Every beat of your heart.

 

With risk, comes reward.

With letting go, comes freedom.

 

Bon Voyage Young Pascal.

Into the great unknown.

The Life of Pascal.

A crew of explorers gather for drinks, food, and fun. Their voyage begins tomorrow to the great unknown. There is excitement in their eyes. Anticipation in their hearts. What wonders lie ahead of them? Tonight the men will dance, laugh, and drink around the fire. Who knows if they will return to shore. Nature is fearsome and apathetic to any of their sufferings. Will they have the strength to face their greatest fears?

The sun is shining at the Port of Marseilles. Seagulls float patiently in the sky above. The crew merrily pack their bags for the long voyage. The crew carries large bags of oats, rye, and potatoes on board the ship “Inconnu”. It’s a warm spring day in the south of France. The Captain of “Inconnu” is Pascal Dubois. He’s a young Captain at only 28 years old, born in Marseille to a peasant family. Some of the crew are wary of his youth while others confident. Young Pascal is quite experienced for his age, thanks to his many voyages into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. He has dealt with death, heartbreak, and disease over the past 10 years as a crewman. He has fought many battles versus Berber pirates along the southern coast of France. Pascal is on a mission of peace, exploration, and discovery. Optimism gleams from his youthful face even though he has some fear of the voyage into the great unknown of the Atlantic Ocean. Many have taken this voyage but not many come back to tell their tales. Pascal and his crew know the risk they are taking. Pascal’s passions are writing, exploration, and helping others. He would travel the world for free. The crew’s motivations vary. Some dream of new beginnings. Others searching for lost treasure and glory. They all dream of new lands, people, and experiences. Tales of Marco Polo’s adventures painted into their every thought.

Will this be their last breath on land? Will they sink into the darkness of the sea? Time will tell. Pascal’s focus is on this precious moment. He will not succumb to his minds tendency to fear the unknown or be scared by stories of the past. Pascal knows that his crew will only survive if he is mindful of the now. To not be distracted by the obstacles. Pascal vows to enjoy each moment of this voyage and to be grateful for every new adventure.

 

Every Monday afternoon I will post one new poem or short story. There will be more blog posts about the life and adventures of Pascal.