It’s that time of life when you sit back and wonder if your life has been all that it should have been (yes, the big ‘FOUR O’ is not too long away). Have I done enough as a human being to stake claim to being a success? Have I done enough to make a difference? How do I even begin to define “enough”?
Barack Obama, in his Arizona State Commencement Speech, in 2009 said, “I've come to embrace the notion that I haven't done enough in my life. I've come to confirm that one's title, even a title like president of the United States, says very little about how well one's life has been led. No matter how much you've done or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, always more to learn, and always more to achieve.”
And that’s what the President of the US of A says about his life. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the kind of life he may have led till now. It sure looks like I have been failing and have failed at a lot of things in my life. Failing at being successful, being famous, making buckets of money, making friends, failing at fulfilling my dreams and ambitions, failing at doing something meaningful and going down in history, failing at helping humankind, failing at being kind, gentle, keeping a control over my emotions, failing, failing, failing…
What is it that I will have to achieve and do to ensure that I have done “enough”? What will make me believe I am not a failure? So many things to do, so many places to go to, and so many people to meet, my bucket list is endless. Hell, I haven’t even made my bucket list yet. Hah, there you go another thing I should have done which I haven’t done.
What is it that I was sent in this world to do? What do I do to leave a mark in this world? Is it really that important to leave a mark in this world and be famous and rich? Will that make me happy? What is that one thing I can do differently that will ensure that I am a successful and good human? Will that time ever come when I can look back and say “there I have achieved it all, I have done my bit now I can rest easy”?
I have no answers to the many questions I have made it a routine to ask myself every day. Will pushing myself to be better and happier help? How much do I push myself? What if it’s already too late? I really don’t know.
I read this on a wonderful blog I found called the Freedom Experiment. ..
“Nothing good comes from pushing. Pushing is when we work and work and work, and then work a little more. Pushing is when you keep working, even though you’re already exhausted. Pushing is when you continue, even though everything is lost already. Pushing is when you are tempted to give up, just because you can’t stand doing what you’re doing any more. Pushing is to value the dream higher than you value yourself.
I know. It’s so, so easy to get attached to the outcome. It’s so, so easy to cling to that silver lining, the dream in the end of the tunnel. And sometimes, you want something so badly it physically hurts just to think about it. Sometimes all you want to do is to go for it, full throttle. And that’s all good. Just make sure you don’t lose yourself on the way.”
Well some of my questions and doubts did get answered there. Not all though. Right now as far as I am concerned the following seems absolutely apt.
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
With all my flailing and thrashing about in this world I may end up one day doing my bit. I do have time. The time to look back and wonder is gone. So maybe it’s time to get dressed, pull up my socks and set out on the long road to a beautiful future, looking ahead rather than looking back.