You're Going to Die, Your Accomplishments Mean Nothing... and That's OK
You are going to die. Your name and your life story will be forgotten. Everything you’ve built, worked for and accomplished will dry up and vanish like condensation on a summer afternoon.
Think of the billions of people who have come and gone from this planet since the dawn of history. A small handful are recorded in history books but the life and legacy of the vast majority are erased like an old hard drive.
Does that scare you? It scares me a little. But it also changes my perspective on things like career, goals and dreams.
LETTING YOU OFF THE HOOK
Nothing ultimately matters. The book you’re writing, the dreams you’re chasing, the house you’re building… it all will disappear. I find that if I really look into it, most of our pursuit of accomplishments, career, success and notoriety are simply the ego’s search for survival and relevance. We want our art to outlive us and keep our name alive. We want fame to persuade others to reflect that our existence matters.
But we still die and are forgotten in just a couple generations. How often do you dwell on your grandfather’s career or your great-grandmother’s accomplishments? (Do you even know their names or what they did for a living?) Additionally, our worth as a human being is no more important than literally anyone else. The street sweeper working for pocket change in Saudi Arabia is exactly no more or less important and will live no more or less longer than the top realtor, the recognizable Hollywood celeb or the millionaire entrepreneur.
SO, WHAT THEN, IS THE POINT?
The point of our few years here is not to get a great job or accomplish your dreams or build a successful business. It’s great to contribute to society and the betterment of those around you if you can, but it’s certainly not the end-game. The point is to be the eyes of “God” experiencing a 3D (or multi-dimensional) world through your particular set of genetics and circumstances. To say it another way: the point of life is to experience life. As far as I understand it, that’s it.
For about 70-80 earth years (give or take) the universe is witnessing itself through a portal called “you.” Right now, “God” is playing the role of “you” reading this on a computer or mobile device. The things you’ve done today, the life you’ve built, your particular body composition and health and psychology - is simply ONE lens in an ocean of billions and trillions of lenses in which the universe diversely experiences itself.
EVERYONE PLAY YOUR PART
Maybe your trip is that you’re the frustrated, underaccomplished striver that never quite “gets there.” Maybe you’re the successful business manager. Maybe you’re the angry victim who was crushed on the corporate ladder. In a sea of endless diversity, each of those characters has to exist too.
All that to say - and I’m speaking to myself here - “chill the fuck out.” If you die a beggar, a pool boy, a food runner, a postal worker, an engineer, a custodian or a rock star, it matters not. Your ego seeks worth and survival from these things but in a short amount of time you’re going to be worm food anyway.
Instead of always planning and dreaming about a future goal, be present now. Leave work at work so you can experience and love the ones in your immediate sphere. Put down your to-do list at lunch and fully enjoy and taste that peach.
Whoever you are and whatever game you’re playing - why not just be grateful? Soon you will be NOTHING. At this moment, though, you’re very much a SOMETHING. So look around you and be appreciative of all that you are and have. Maybe you need to take a less demanding job so you can enjoy your evenings and weekends. Or go ahead and build your tech start-up or get your doctorate degree if you must. But if you forget to hug your kids, neglect to take vacations or frantically strive so hard for money that you IGNORE YOUR *LIFE*, it’s not too late to reconsider.
By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit