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  • Writer's picturePhojes

Alive or Living

Updated: May 3, 2022

What are we doing? Well, you could argue that we are doing both, there are many people that are doing both. But some people are only doing one of them and I will explain. Well, let’s talk a bit about the two.

Alive – This means you are breathing and existing in your normal day to day life. Is something wrong with this? Not at all, but there is not much stimulation or enthusiasm happening in your life. For example to explain my point, if you were stranded on a deserted island, and couldn’t leave. All you would do is focus on shelter, eating, and sleeping. Not too much else, sort of just accepting this is your existence, as I am alive. Like stuck in a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and on the weekends, you are home reading, I guess a set existence so to say.


Living – This is when you are actively engaged in things, projects, and experiences that open up your mind and make you see and understand more from many different perspectives. As a human we have the ability to learn and grow, living will proactively do this. Challenging your mind, maybe even yourself physically. Testing your limits, seeing where you can excel. Trying to be the best version of yourself. Proving to yourself that, “You Can”.


Do we value life? I grew up not believing that I would live a long life. I didn’t believe that I would even make it to my 30s, why, well it was the lifestyle I was indulging in. I was drinking, fighting and just basically being reckless, I didn’t have a lot of value on many things, including my own life. Thankfully I matured and got responsible and believed more in myself and my own ability. But you need to be hungry to do this. It takes motivation and discipline. We all have the ability but not all of us have the drive. I believe that everyone is good at something, but you need to try things to find out what is it you excel in? I believe that as you have family and other things that mean a lot to you as an individual, you will have more value in your own existence. If your life is in danger, you will instantly think of those closest to you and think I need to make it through this for them. So how for you think a human could go when dealing with an extreme survival situation?


Do you think you are able to go beyond your natural limitations? If your life depended on it, what do you think you are capable of? If you were fortunate enough to have survived a plane crash and you were now stranded on a mountain in the winter, do you believe you could survive for 72 days without food rations? Do you believe you could survive 76 days alone on a raft again without any sufficient food rations? Another person survived a plane crash from 10 000ft that crashed into a jungle. They then survived another 11 days in the Amazon Rainforest with a broken collar bone and a torn ACL. What about if you were rock climbing and got your arm stuck beneath a rock that shifted, if you couldn’t get free do you think that you could cut your own arm off?


These are all real stories of people that did actually survive but let’s look more closely at what they did or what were their options. The people on the plane that crashed on the mountain (see picture below), this was a rugby team, so everyone knew each other, in the end, they decided to eat the dead people, these were people that they were friends with. Not only that, during their time as others died, they ate them too. Extreme?? Well, it was either that or die.

The person that cut his own arm off, he believed if he didn’t get away from this situation he would die, so in the end, it was a choice of dying or cutting off his own arm with a penknife. The person on the raft had to find a way to fish and harness fresh water for his survival.


The point is as humans I believe we are capable of much more than we actually realise. I have never been in such a situation, and I hope you don’t have to experience such a situation either, but when our survival instincts kick in, and we have the right motivation and drive, we can achieve much more than we think we are capable off, and not just in a survival situation BUT in life.


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