But, if you had enough to live indulgently without e’er needing to work or worry again, what would you do with your time, energy, and talents?
Would you play all day, work, volunteer, workout, cook, eat, golf, ski, or go to the movies all day?
Aside from recognizing how many are Netflix binging right now, my question is neither intended to be funny nor frivolous. Seriously now, if nothing else mattered, what would you do?
Physical strength is perishable.
But spirit doesn’t spoil.
There is no fountain of youth – there is only the fountain of you.
The longer in the tooth we get, our reality’s lucidity is clear to all who see us.
We are mostly oblivious of ourselves.
Hurry, no time to waste fretting about some elusive characteristics.
We must fasten our concentration on what we can do well with our talents and our time remaining.
Frankl, in frustration, tried to define man’s search for meaning – and many millions of us share this struggle with similar failing to find it, much like De Leon failed to find the fountain of youth. It’s time we faced a reality that there is no ‘meaning,’ and our search is futile.
If you agree, there is something beyond searching for meaning in Frankl’s sense, but perhaps it’s not a search for meaning in what we’ve done but rather pursuit-with-purpose on what we are doing next.
Our life’s work is an explanation of our life, subtext or subtitle for our accomplishments and failings.
Of our entire life?
Yes, our entirety – inarguably the connective tissue weaving our worth with our wealth, our being with our health, our family into our communities – delineating, not explaining, us as much as we define it, and struggling, but what kind of life is worthy of our talents if it is not shaped by tension and rewarded by intention?
I’ve been pondering this question because I think it is incumbent on mid-life contemplative mortals to engage in some kind of process, some deep thinking, on what our life from now onward will be about, what it will be for, and how we are going to achieve it?
For most people I encounter, their career and family building work is done. Their affairs are in order, and their lifestyle is established. Those are huge bodies of work, and best done by the young – and we’re too old for that. But were neither done nor dead.
I’m challenging others to think about this and talk about it – to tell me where they’re going and how they’re planning to get there. It doesn’t have to be on the big stage, but surely it needs to be worth doing before we end up on the obituary page.
I’m targeting potential projects I would love to do. One, a BHAG deal that could, in turn, fund the next dream project, one is an overseas BHAG I’d love to do that would involve cobbling together a stellar cadre of partners for a worthy goal. The third, filling blank pages with words worth reading.
Sure, I would love to travel, shop, cook, play, golf, and walk beaches – those are restorative comforts like spectacular houses, luxury cars, and high thread-count sheets. But seriously, those are physical comforts/rewards, and not that appealing if we haven’t done something worthy of that prize.
I have big ideas hiding in a drawer.
I have gigantic goals percolating in my mind.
I have magnificent dreams of changing the world a bit – time now, to stop hiding them.
What ideas are you hiding in your drawer, what gigantic goals are percolating in your mind?
What magnificent dreams do you have about changing the world a bit?
Until now, our life is our manuscript; no point editing – what’s done cannot be changed, yet we can release ourselves from pause-mode, resume chasing that fountain of you!
We can edit our memoires, or write our next chapter, but we can’t do a worthy job of either trying to do both. Focus on your task with everything you’ve got because, in the end, that’s all we have.
You are so right on Mark! So much to be grateful for...I loved your last paragraph. Giving when and where one can, makes for a heartfelt society. We Canadians have the most amazing, free-thinking people. Lucky us!, SF, Lethbridge, AB