Memory is a funny thing. Science provides a sound biochemical explanation for the ‘what’ of memory, but fails miserably in the ‘how’. The ‘what’, is the meticulous formation and storage of neural synapses via chemical messengers; and the unapologetic flushing of the countless formations deemed unworthy, in to the vast nothingness. But ‘how’ do chemical constituents have the intelligence to coordinate, seamlessly, millions of reactions per second with poetic ease? Nobody knows, they just do.
So when we recall our past, we see certain memorable instances with vivid clarity—but these elusive moments are slight in comparison to the huge gaps in consciousness, which seem in retrospect like everything ceased to exist. This is especially true of our childhood. For most of us, our childhood memories can be summed up as the ‘big things’, the life defining moments. You recall with precise detail the time you fell off the monkey bars and broke your arm, but likely have no idea what happened in the preceding days or even weeks or months. In one way or another, our memory is composed of all the life lessons that will help us to avoid grave danger, and succeed over our competitors. Everything else is negligible, and marked for termination. So, perhaps we should trust that our most significant memories are there to somehow serve us, as they represent the most important lessons learned, out of every single thing encountered to that very instant in life.
We are the products of western culture. At some point in our rearing, each of us was delivered a promise of a better future. A future where, if we worked hard enough, made goals, and stayed out of trouble, we could do anything we set out minds to, regardless our socioeconomic status—a future with more opportunity than previous generations. But sadly, for the vast majority, this promise has been long forgotten. A memory not pursued; a pact of no consequence. I, and hopefully you too, are an exception.
And for those exceptional few, many come from families with no formal education, who struggled to put food on the table, let alone save for the future. Thankfully, the innocent mind of a child is not possessed by the ‘voice of reason’, which serves only to protect our ego from sure failure. On a whim, we chose to accept the challenge, and follow our dreams. We were blissfully unaware of the significant obstacles and heartache to be faced. We simply began our life journey on nothing tangible, with the odds stacked against us, blindly following and trusting nothing more than a memory of a promise. And though each of our paths were surely marred with too many difficulties to name, our dreams continually updated and redefined, because from every struggle, a triumphant success was born. We chose to not be idle passengers on the train of life, but instead made our own opportunities, refusing to wait for them to come to us. We transformed from no hope, to seekers of hope, to those sought for hope. We worked hard, made goals, and stayed out of trouble—we trusted our memory, and it made all the difference in the world.
For the remaining vast majority, who long forgot this promise, this is your reminder. It still holds true, it is never too late. It is not easy, but you can do it. Take risks. Trust in humanity. Be empowered by your setbacks. But most importantly, believe in a memory of a promise, and you too will earn the opportunity to reach your dreams.
And as is life, we begin the next phase with each moment come to pass; a phase that will surely come and go like the rest, but is no more or less important than any other. It is a piece of the puzzle necessary to move ahead, with the potential to generate life defining memories. So, will you accept the challenge to follow your dreams? Your decision will certainly be the difference between a life changing moment, worthy of a memory—or simply a daily occurrence of the mind, that serves to shape us, not define us—but with time, is ultimately exiled from the memory bank, on account of being inconsequential to achieving success. The choice is yours.