The Next Level

I am not a complete addict yet, but I have seen over that ledge. When I hear the truly hardcore and disciplined talking about it, I understand the verbiage and can begin to see how my world changes in the continued pursuit. It is not geographically, culturally, or educationally specific. It is something that applies across generations, cultures, and religions. I submit that it is something that reaches everyone of us and if we let it will consume us. It is the life long pursuit of the next level.
Growing up in the video game generation, the next level is always the goal. Conquer where you are, no matter how many lives or resets it takes, and then move on to the next level. Start on the JV team, prove you have what it takes, move on to the next level and play Varsity. Take harder courses, prove you belong among the academic elite, move on to the next level. Take initiative, go the extra mile, work for the big picture not just for the pay check, move on to the next level.
It is not a lack of contentment with where you are or the circumstances that we find ourselves in. It is not a pursuit that should bred and fester dissatisfaction in our current world and rob us of the joy that can be, and should be, found in each day. But it is the deep seeded desire to never slow down or settle for less than our ever increasing best. To make sure that we never find ourselves with "those cold and timid souls that know neither victory or defeat."
The more we push, the more we strive, the more we learn, the better we become. The better we become, that much more is expected of us. The more that is expected of us, the higher the bar is raised for what our personal best can and should be.
Life is too long to settle and to become content with the current level we are living, working, and playing in right now. If you can complete this level with your eyes closed due to the repetitive nature with which you continue to play it over and over again because it is comfortable and you know you can beat it, that is not helping you or anyone in your world.
Take it to the next level.

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." - Henry Ford

Here are some guys that took it to the extreme next level. They were not content with the thrill of the success that they had achieved, so they innovated and gave me a great reason to finally visit my ancestors' home country. (Video Credit - Uncle Herb)