As we begin a new year, I feel it is worthwhile to look back and reflect on the choices we have made during the previous year. I don’t have to explain to you that life is precious but I think it is hard to describe the true value of your own life and the time you invest.
Please bear with me and my philosophical moment. When you begin to search for your goal in life, when you first think about what ultimately matters, I can only assume you would think the same as me. I think about the day I will inevitably die, and at that moment, if I were to see a flashback of my life, what would matter to me? How could I look back and feel that I’d spent my time wisely in ways that I could feel at peace in death.
Through my upbringing I was always conditioned to believe that I should follow the typical path of working a stable job 9am-5:30pm day in day out and to generally conform to the average person’s dreams. I spend a lot of time thinking about what matters to me most, and I often cycle through the same routine. I start out by thinking that having the most money is the best achievement I can have, or a really good career, but the more I think about it, the more I believe money is just an enabler, money simply gives you more power and opportunity to achieve something greater. Wealth is relative to your own greed, a greedy person is often poor regardless of their wealth, a poor person who does not want for things can be rich as they are abundant in fulfilling their needs with little wealth.
Then I think about time spent, how I have spent my time is likely the most important aspect of life. However, in truth, there is no such thing as the past, or the future, only the present exists in reality, anything that happened in the past does not exist anymore, so is a legacy really as important as we may think?
The future is probably one of the most tragic causes of wasted time that there has ever been. Yet it is extremely important for survival. Life is what happens while you are making other plans.
I read Viktor Frankl’s book, “A Man’s Search For Meaning” and it inspired me to probe further into my own mind about what my place in the world truly is and what I’m searching for.
Living for the present leaves you prone to addiction, often tasting happiness by searching for it in day to day life, it leaves you to crave more happiness and eventually look for substitutes to keep your happiness fulfilled throughout the day. Eventually leaving you unfulfilled and craving more of this drug.
So this leaves us in a quite demoralizing predicament, if we can’t live for our past achievements and we can’t let life pass us by by always thinking of the future and we also can’t look for happiness everyday or live for money, then what is left for us? What is it that we live for?
What we live for, what we strive for, is meaning itself. We are products of reproduction and our ultimate bodily function is to reproduce, however we ascended beyond our biological programming and in this dark vast confusion of conciousness we have created these concepts of achievement and legacy that we have to leave behind when we die in order to satisfy our true one concious goal, which is to search for a meaning to our lives.
It is in the search for a meaning that we find our reason to live.
A powerful person with all the riches in the world may strive for world domination, and yet a man without wealth and power such as Viktor Frankl, whose life existed in a Nazi Deathcamp, he found meaning in watching small birds called Robins which were often beyond the electrified fence and also found meaning through imagining the day he we will be greeted home by his wife.
Regardless of differences in their dreams, both of these people have the same goal, they search for their own meaning to life through their own wishes and goals. Your dreams are your meaning to life and without dreams you give up on life itself, so no matter how big or small your dreams are, if they give your life meaning, then they are just as important in their grandeur as anyone else’s.
Never give up on your dreams, that is the only true waste of life and true regret you can have.