No. Not again! Not. This. Again.
Yeah. Screw this. Enough about you.
Let’s talk about me.
Who am I? What matters to me? And what the Falcon X should *I* be doing with my life?
This line of questioning is one of those weird but useful paradoxes. Answers to these questions say more about you than they say about me. Because let’s face it, as clueless as I may be, I am still going to attempt something.
And your reactions to those answers say a lot about you. They throw you into the existential disorder that begs: how do you measure your life?
Judging, as douche as it can be, is, in effect, measuring someone against your expectations. If this essay turns out to be a piece of crap, well, screw your expectations.
If I told you I went to a top business School, work at an Investment bank, and play golf on the weekends, and if you go batty listening to that and want to know where I buy my suits, chances are this is also what you would like for your life.
And chances are money’s a big deal for you.
If instead, I told you my work at a not-for-profit involves improving the livelihood of farmers and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, you may act impressed on the outside – just so you don’t look like a dick – but the answer may have done nothing to you.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that reaction. Maybe you want to create a smattering livelihood for yourself before you go on to work for a cause. It seems to have worked out just all right for Bill Gates.
In either case, the judgments help you understand yourself better. My answers become a conduit into your own desires and want.
That sounded wrong.
Here’s the suffering: What we want to do with our lives, and in consequence, how we measure it, is a constant battle between what we are doing and everything we aren’t.
Growing up, this happens a lot. As a kid, I had no clue what I wanted. I mostly wanted what someone else had. Because everything they had seemed a whole lot better than what I had. What we call maturity is a slow elimination of some of these wants. What we call passion is making the most of the wants that are left. But the problem is we are left with nothing to choose from.
The answers, as much as you are going to hate this, are with everyone else.
And their answers, however misinformed, naive and horrendous offer a great many clues to the treasure hunt that is discovering who the heck you are.
If celebrities and their lives make you go batty, and your Instagram feed is a filtered shitstorm that is other people’s boredom, attention may just be one of your big priorities.
If a small business owner who runs an ethical business and makes a modest sum of money tickles your tummy, integrity, for you, may be more important than money.
None of these are answers to your questions, but they all get you closer. They all tell you something about what matters to you. And some of that stuff can be really embarrassing. Again, see maturity.
We have become so averse to the idea of what others want of us, we never bother to dig into what they want of themselves, and how that makes us feel. You will soon realize everyone is at different levels of cluelessness. And, weirdly, the articulation of that cluelessness becomes a reverse-philosophical way to understand ourselves.
When people ask you what you want to do with your life, they are only looking for answers themselves.
And on who or what I want to be? How about a Greek philosopher living in the fourth century BC.