When you go where everyone else is going, you only learn what everyone else is learning. Into the Wild is a story of a person who dreamt of a different world. For onlookers, his dream realm may be a sign of his insanity– where he is making the mistake of giving up everything ‘necessary’ to live. But who defines what is ‘necessary’? Why should there be just one definition of an ‘ideal life’? Let’s check out 5 Great Life Lessons from ‘Into the Wild’ by John Krakauer in this post.
Nearly 30 years before, Christopher Johnson McCandless, just like everyone else, graduated from Emory University. Everyone around him thought of a degree as a mark of achievement, and for Chris, it meant nothing. On top of that, he was an intelligent student.
Even with his potential, Chris decided to sideline the academic venture– something his family did not support. He wanted to go to Alaska. Before leaving for his journey, he left all the money and materialistic stuff behind.
His journey as a hitchhiker is told by the author John Krakauer in the book ‘Into the Wild.’ Adapted into a motion picture, Into the Wild has earned global recognition for Christopher’s incredible plot and extraordinary journey, who called himself ‘Alexander Supertramp’ wherever he went.
Here are the 5 Great life lessons from ‘Into the Wild’ by John Krakauer, that could help everyone fulfil dreams in their life!
1. Do not overthink things.
Overthinking has become a part of everyone’s life. More and more rules and limitations are added each day to define ‘normal’, but even if you end up perfectly fitting in the shoe of society’s normalcy statute, they will still find issues.
What’s more, is that humans are full of contradictions. If you take everything they say to heart, you will simply drive your mind towards confusion and insanity.
Every single human being has different brains and even more distinct thoughts, and you can never fully comprehend what they mean or what is going on inside their heads. So, you need to focus on your journey rather than gauging their reactions.
Remember, you are not running with anybody else in the race of life– it is just you, so you need to guide yourself accordingly.
If you suffer from excessive overthinking, the best way is to jot down your emotions. Further, if you think your thoughts are interrupting your daily life– try talking to someone you trust or simply taking up activity to distract your mind.
2. Your comfort zone is your biggest disadvantage.
“So many people live within happy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”
For Christopher, getting out of his comfort zone meant basically giving up on everything. A roof, money, mobile, connection with people– but his story can give us a great lesson on the perils of staying in the comfort zone.
You have a stable job and a stable income, and you can get pretty much everything. And you have comfortably settled yourself into a ‘zone.’ If you want to grow your career, you need to step out of it.
You will hardly find new opportunities whilst meandering in your comfortable position. Challenging yourself is a good way to develop, and so you need to kickstart your career ventures again with a step out from your comfort zone.
3. You are all you need.
Sometimes, we doubt ourselves. The societal view of perfection makes us question our potential and ability. However, through the story, John tells us how we do not need anything except ourselves.
Materialistic things can be re-earned, and they may not amount to something to all of us. Some just want to build a successful career path– so we need to understand that the only guiding light we have is us.
When we are told to follow our hearts, we often ignore it as a cliche phrase that has been used for a long time with no results. Nonetheless, when we do something that our hearts really desires, our efforts also amplify.
We do not get tired of doing it, and in that moment, when we perform something, not for somebody else’s praise but our sense of accomplishment– we earn true satisfaction from life.
4. Your career path may be different.
“When Walt and Billie [his parents] suggested that he needed a college degree to attain a fulfilling career, Chris answered that careers were demeaning “twentieth-century inventions,” more of a liability than an asset and that he would do fine without one, thank you.”
At this point, I think the author was trying to tell us that a university degree with good grades does not necessarily offer us successful careers. Christopher wanted to do something different in his life– which couldn’t be accomplished in the classrooms of universities.
Some of us may also have the same career choices, so we need to understand that it is not essential to follow in the same footsteps of people. Your career path may not need a prestigious degree but skills that are not taught in academics. But is this the way you will feel happy and contented for the rest of your lives– so before following the herd, you need to think wisely and make a decision.
5. You will not live forever.
Undoubtedly, this is the most powerful lesson in the story. But all of us are aware of the fact that we are mortals– so what is the big deal about it?
The truth is we often forget how small our lives are and spend a large amount of it regretting our past actions and another portion in overthinking.
Sometimes we become so anxious about our sense of security that we stop ourselves from taking risks. This is one of the major reasons why people are afraid to try out new things. If we think too much about death, we will live in fear, yet if we think too little about it, we would still end up missing a lot.
So, these are some of the best lessons from the book. At the age of 24, the harsh Alaskan Bush did not allow Christopher to survive. He spent 113 days in Alaska.
Do you think he was satisfied at the time of his death? Metaphorically speaking, if your life has only 113 days, would you be chasing what you are chasing now or doing something completely different? Let us know in the comment section!