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career

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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

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Fill My Hole

You know that fire in your belly when you're hungry? That glint in your eye when you're horny? That skip in your step when you're passionate about something?

Don't lose it. And for god's sake, stop trying to bury it. 

Each of us contains a deep-seated inborn sense of lack; it is the eternal human condition and the cornerstone upon which most religions and philosophies are built. The Buddha, for example, said that your cravings (desires which attempt to fill that hole) are the very cause of your suffering. The thought is:

  1. Since you will never ultimately be fulfilled, you're only setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment if you seek fulfillment.
  2. Therefore, desire should be overcome.

Cool, Buddha, but here's a different perspective: that empty space that seems to eclipse your happiness is in fact not a curse but a tremendous boon - and the search to "fill your hole," while ultimately futile, is the very thing that gives life its power and juice and well… LIFE.

If you allow it, that anxious buzz in you can be the fuel that drives you. That discontentment that feels like pain can actually help you to spring out of bed in the morning and tackle life. Don't be concerned, friend, about the sadness and lack in you. Celebrate it. Own it. Let it push you like a goddamned rocket. Breathe it down deep and feel the energy surging up and through all of your limbs. That "unffff" you feel when you see something that REALLY turns you on? Go after life like THAT.

Don't be fooled, however. Reaching your goals and fulfilling your desires will never make you happy. In fact when you get the guy, when you land the job, when you realize your fantasies, when you buy the house - you will be disillusioned. It will not satisfy you or fill the hole, but that does not mean you should not pursue or desire it.

At the risk of sounding like a kitchen magnet: screw the destination; the journey is exactly the point. 

Most of us do not celebrate our discontentment but rather are annoyed and pained by it. So what do we do? We mask it or deplete it. We smoke weed, we jerk off, we drink heavily - not to feel more deeply - but to shut off our thoughts and distract our dis-ease in a thousand different ways. 

Take sex for instance. When you've got "the urge to merge" there is a craving in your body/mind that feels like an electric buzz. Your frantic search for fulfillment is a pursuit to make that buzzing end. But I would also wager to say that at the same time you're feeling horny and needy, you're also more alert, more eager for life and [very likely] more loving (all of which will certainly deplete the minute you get your rocks off). Instead of seeking release from all of your longings, what if you were to harness them, feel them circulate in your body and utilize that eager energy like a tamed (but extraordinarily powerful) bull between your legs?

Now take that and relate it to finances, to career, to spirituality, to any of your needs:

  1. Feel your lack deeply;
  2. Celebrate your longing for things to be different than what they are right now;
    ...and then...
  3. Find contentment - not in the satiation or fulfillment of your desires and goals - but in the unsatisfied, buzzy hunger itself.

Suddenly life is juicy and yummy and full of spark and opportunity. You are more attracted to your partner, you pursue financial opportunities with vigor and you sensually and enthuastically enjoy the challenge and process along the way. Unfff.

By Trevor Harden
Artwork: "Finger Sex" by Tina Lug. Used with permission - check out her amazing site!

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