Linkin Park and the Seven Principles of a Fulfilled Life

Today, the world cried lonely tears for losing another good man–RIP Chester Bennington. I want to tell you that you are wrong, because it does matter in the end.

If you are born in the 90’s, you would agree that Linkin Park is the standard of alternative rock. For a 90’s kid like me, Linkin Park songs, like Numb and In the End, are national anthems. You sing it even though you sound awful singing it.

I’m not really a fan of rock music. I’m not a fan of Linkin Park, I have to admit that. But it would be unfair and graceless if I deny my admiration for the good music that they make–the kind of music which became a faithful companion to those who are afraid, remorseful, and tired; to those who are rejected, in misery, and to those who have given up.

Indeed, Linkin Park has brought rock music into a different level and made it so much more than screams and loud sound. They have brought life to the genre and to the world.

Here are the seven Linkin Park songs that embody wise principles to living a fulfilled life:

“Don’t know what you’re expecting of me, put under the pressure of walking in your shoes.”

1. Your life matters but how you matter doesn’t depend on other people, it depends on you.

Many times, we lose ourselves because we live each day trying to please other people. We oftentimes think that they will only value us if we live up to their standards, if we do what they want. But that is utterly wrong. You matter whether other people value you or not. You are important and you are worth loving even before you tried.

The value and love you invest in yourself will reflect the same value others invest in you. If you wake up every day thinking that you are not worth it, that you are lesser of a person than everybody else, guess what, people around you will think exactly just the same. But if every day, you face life with sure confidence that you matter, that you have a significant purpose in this world, then you don’t need to compromise trying to please people. You just need to learn to add value to your worth, and people will just magically do the same.

And where does this confidence come from? It’s springs from the unchangeable truth that  you are not an accident; you are here on this earth for a purpose. That purpose is good. You were created by a God who loves you and who sees so much value in you. He sees you as someone worth dying for and He did.

Because you matter.

“I’ll start again and whatever thing may come today this ends, I’m forgiving what I’ve done.”

2. You are not perfect and you will never be.

Disappointments, frustrations, disillusions–all these negative emotions come from one and one thing only: your pursuit of perfection.

You are flawed. You will make mistakes. So stop trying to be perfect. Every now and then, you will mess up and you will hurt other people, so be quick to say sorry. Every here and now, other people will mess up and they will hurt you so be eager to forgive.

And at other times, you will falter on your own toes: you will make wrong decisions, you will love the wrong people, you will ruin yourself. So learn the art of begin-again. When you fall, don’t linger so long on the ground. Learn to forgive what you’ve done and start all over again.

You are not your mistakes. You are not your past. You know why? Because you can always change. You can always start anew. Yes, you are flawed, you are not perfect–but God will always see you worthy of love.

“It’s easier to run replacing this pain with something numb. It’s easier to go than face all this pain here alone.”

3. Running away is not always the best form of escape.

It’s easier to run away but it will never make things easy. When you run away, sooner or later, you will be forced to return, only to be welcomed home by the same problems unsolved, the same mess unfixed. Because running away doesn’t solve the problem. It will only prolong it.

But if you must run away, runaway to the one who can rescue you. Because many times, it doesn’t matter what you run away from; what matters is who you run away to. The latter is the critical make-or-break. Many people make the mess messier because they runaway to the wrong things, and to the wrong people.

It’s not always right to run away but if you must, make sure to run in the right direction.

“Looking for help somehow somewhere and no one cares, I’m my own worst enemy.

4. The most powerful enemy you need to overcome is yourself.

You fail because you didn’t try. You messed up because you didn’t prepare.  Most of the time, the greatest obstacle between you and that thing called success is not the people around you; it’s yourself. It’s not even the circumstances; it’s yourself. Because the only thing you can control in this world is yourself.

You see, the enemy is not an external force. It comes from within you. Sometimes, it’s your fear, your frustrations, and your discouragement. At other times, it’s just your utter laziness that makes you a failure.

One of the greatest strategies of defeating your enemy is to study his weakness. If your enemy is yourself, you are at a great advantage. You already know your own weakness.

“For I’m only a crack in this castle of glass, hardly anything there for you to see.”

5. There is always more to see in you than you have ever known.

Most of the time, we limit our own potential based on the failure of our past. We define ourselves, our capacities and talents based on how we have failed rather than on how we have succeeded. And we think that there’s nothing to us that is worth sharing to the world. We think we are just a crack somewhere, causing irreparable damage rather than bringing incomprehensible joy.

But that is wrong. You are greater than your mistakes. And you can share greater things in the world, through them and in spite of them. Do not allow the circumstances that you have gone through limit your perception of yourself and your potential. You may be a crack in a castle of glass but there is so much more to see in you.  And no matter how tiny of a crack you are, there is greatness in you. There is always something great inside of you for people to see.

“I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down, if I just let go I’d be set free.”

6. There is beauty in the art of letting go.

You cannot have everything in this world. Some things, no matter how tightly you hold on to them, are simply meant to go away. That’s one biting truth. Not all good things are good for you. So learn the art of letting go.

Learn to choose the battles you fight. Fight if it’s worth fighting for, and if it’s not, learn to loosen your grip. It may hurt at first but the pain will usually fade away. And even if it lingers, move forward. Life keeps moving on even if you don’t. So you’d better get along or you’d be left behind.

“I’ve tried so hard and got so far but in the end it doesn’t even matter.”

7. Some things do matter in the end.

An author once said, only one life ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last. When you are in your death bed desperately hanging on to every breath of air you can grasp, when your will and strength fails, you will realize that there  is only one thing that matters in life. One thing and most of us doesn’t even hit that mark. Instead, we pour out everything we’ve got–our time, our talent, our strength-in order to run after the things that doesn’t add relevance to our lives. And then we wonder why at the end of each day, the void deep inside us remains a lingering black hole awaiting to be filled.

It’s so distressing to know that so many people try to dismiss this truth. They try to argue and debate, even change this one thing. But at the end of it all, it’s not the fame and not the money that matters. It’s not even your goodness that matters.

The only thing  that matters is that tiny little line that lies between you and God.

And if you intend to succeed and find fulfillment in this life, find it and pursue it with all your might.

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