Does the desire to be great keep you up at night?
Sometimes when I sit in my comfortable bed, warm and cosy even though it’s bitterly cold outside, I think of my life and its meaning. The thoughts that come to me then are those that only come during moments of solitude. They do not visit me whilst I’m busy with work or running to catch a train or spending time with friends. I’ll be watching a show on TV, or flipping through pictures on Instagram, or checking my Facebook timeline. And then suddenly this overwhelming sense of dread washes over me and I’ll suddenly ask myself:
“What is the meaning of your life?”
“Are you living your life to the fullest?”
“What is your passion and are you living each day passionately?”
These questions make me feel kind of nauseous because the truth is I don’t always know the answers. Do you?
Do you also sit with the feeling that maybe you’re NOT living your best life? That maybe you don’t quite have A PASSION, and that your life’s work is not going to remembered or admired or revered?
I am really asking you this. Because I know the kinds of answers I would give someone who was having this kind of crisis and they would be mostly reassuring and encouraging. I would suggest that meaning-making is as individual as everything else and that a person’s life cannot be measured against another’s to determine its meaning.
The thing is that we are the Millennials, we are generation Y, we are the kids who grew up believing that we are unique snowflakes and that we are destined for fame and greatness. So these kind of answers are far from satisfying.
So what is the solution, the cure for this torment? Should we all be striving for greatness, for fame, for glory, for importance? Or is the lesson about accepting and feeling humbled by one’s infinitely profound yet infinitely insignificant existence?