Have an aim in life

On Facebook recently, a friend was reminiscing about the days when we wrote our status updates in words rather than posting other people’s photographs and bland lifestyle quotes. Fancy that – we’re already nostalgic about the lost days of early Facebook.

Then two of my Facebook friends posted one right after the other, both quoting someone else, and both saying basically the same thing in different words and tones of voice. By the way, they’re both American, but one’s a Hawaiian yoga teacher. I think you’ll guess which is which.

Here they are. First:

‘Have an aim in life – then remember to pull the trigger’

And second:

‘Action is intention’ (with the original Sanskrit: ‘Kamma cetanam, Kamma vedami’)

They both reminded me of Nike’s ‘Just do it’ and my own British version ‘It’s not going to get done by itself now, is it?’

The first quote made me feel uncomfortable; gun metaphors aren’t pretty. And it’s one of those aggressive, ‘go get what you want out of life; the only thing holding you back is your negative beliefs’ self-help boosters that make so many people feel they’re failures for just being happy the way they are.

The second one is a trickier concept: what you do is what you mean. It’s a good one though. Karma – or kamma – is Sanskrit for action, what you do. It doesn’t mean ‘what goes around comes around’, as most people think. Bad karma simply means doing bad, and good karma means doing good. In the original version there’s no guaranteed return on investment, as the Western version likes to hope. It just is.

Then there’s Captain Picard’s ‘Make it so.’

So there we have it. Five ways of saying pull your socks up and get on with it. Off you go then.

Make that six.