White flag

When did you give up the fight?

Articles on this site contain affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you buy a product or service after clicking them. The full privacy & disclosure policy is here.

You live in incredible times.  So why aren’t you making the most of it?

50 years ago Russia had just sent the first person into space.  Today if you’ve got enough money, you can book a joyride to do the same thing yourself.

25 years ago the world wide web didn’t exist.  Today you can find out anything you like in seconds while standing on a street corner most anywhere in the world.

Even a decade ago the first iPod hadn’t yet been released, the human genome was yet to be sequenced and Nickelback could have a number one single despite having no musical ability whatsoever.  Well, perhaps not everything has changed…

Life expectancy is way up.  Poverty levels are in decline.  Cheap flights let you see the world and cheap technology keeps you in touch with it.  Food is more plentiful.  The gender gap is much smaller.  In fact, other than those hairy Canadian rockers, in the last half-century your conditions in life have improved dramatically by almost any measure.

Anything is possible.


So why doesn’t it feel that way?


Why do you work longer hours than your parents did?

Why has microwave pizza and a can of beer become your dinner of choice?

Why has your earning power increased dramatically yet you’re only a couple of paycheques away from disaster?

Why has your waistline expanded every time you try on a new pair of jeans?

Why have your relationships gone to crap?

Why do you spend your life in a cubicle doing a job you hate, hanging in there for a weekend that’s never long enough?




Because although technology has changed dramatically in the last few decades, our thinking hasn’t kept pace.

Because your government, your employer and your society much prefer obedience to independence, and do everything they can to maintain that status quo.

Because advertisers and the media ram a dream down your throat that is actually anything but, and you believe them.


Because you’ve given up the fight.


Do you remember back when you were a kid and your teacher asked you what you wanted to do when you grew up?  I bet you wanted to be a rock star.  Or a fireman.  Maybe you thought you’d be a doctor, or a famous explorer.  Travel the world.  Climb Mount Everest.  Fly to the moon.

I guarantee you didn’t say you wanted to be a wage slave, doing a job you can’t stand for a company you couldn’t give a shit about.

I’ll bet you didn’t say that your greatest desire was to live in a huge house in the suburbs that you couldn’t afford and to fill it with crap you don’t need. Odds are that you didn’t think that tuning into Survivor would be the highlight of your week.

Of course, It’s just easier to do what everyone else does.  Just go with the flow and stick it out for the next forty years.  Buy that enormous house.  Sit at work for 60 hours a week hating your life.  Watch that stupid reality TV show.  If it’s good enough for the people around you, it’s good enough for you, right?


Like hell it is.


Einstein didn’t discover the Theory of Relativity while sitting on the sofa eating corn chips.

Hillary didn’t stand at the top of the world because he got lost on his way to the shopping mall.

The Beatles didn’t sell a quarter of a billion albums by getting sensible jobs at the local supermarket.

They didn’t give up on their dreams.


Why have you given up on yours?


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

What did you like and dislike? How could I improve this post?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Although I myself am in some of these categories, I whole heartedly agree with you, and my daily focus is to work to break free of the things the world dictates as necessary, and instead find out for myself what this world can offer to me, and I to it.

  2. Dave, I loved this post!! Thought provoking, fun facts and a good kick up the bum for readers! Thanks mate! Great way to start the week off!

  3. holy crap … that’s just insanely true … Some things are just taken for granted (and so well rinsed from mass-media) that we consider them as “normal life” … Good to see that there’s life outside of all those unnecessary things … Thanks Dave… Really inspiring

  4. Dave you kill me. Seriously. I need you to quit your job and write every day so I can wake up to things like this.
    So many travel bloggers inspire travel, but you really just inspire LIVING. LIFE. PASSION of all sorts.
    I heart this.

    1. That’s such a lovely thing to say … I’d be blushing. If I knew how…

      I’d so love to quit my job and write every day … hey if there’s any companies out there that would like to sponsor me to do that, I’m all ears! Til then, you’ll just have to have your weekly rations instead. 😉

  5. Love this post! I think that people tend to get ‘stuck’ in these categories because either they are afraid of failing, someone else is telling them that they’ll fail or they are procrastinating their dream for a better time.

    Well, what if there isn’t a better time? Great post Dave!

    1. Thanks Annie – and you’re totally right, of course. Fear of failure is a powerful force – but surely it’s better to have tried and failed, than die wondering why you never tried at all…

      This isn’t a dress rehearsal, folks – so stop treating it like one!

  6. I totally agree with you. The solution to this is really hard though. It’s one of the good things about travel though, forces you to be put in hard, non complacent situations that make you think.

    1. Very much so – and eventually being challenged becomes the norm, not the exception, and you can’t handle the thought of not being challenged in everyday life any more.

      Or maybe that’s just me. 😉

  7. What a great post I love the sentiment, I love message. I think it is important to remember that we all had dreams when we were young. Too many people give up on their lives and end up doing exactly what you mentioned above…Survivor is a highlight…that’s not living, that’s existing.

  8. I enjoyed ruminating your words while I sip a beer and enjoy Hokkaido noodles in Hanoi (of all the wonderful places to eat Japanese noodles). To other readers, if your personal situation allows it, drop what you’re doing, sell your artifacts and hit the road. First beer in Viet Nam is on me.