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Archive for December, 2011

The people we lost along the way.  I’m young, but in the last two years I’ve lost a few high school classmates, friends of friends, and grandparents.

I’m always the most shaken by news that someone that was in my high school calculus class, or lived next to me on my college dorm floor, is gone and will never have the chance to see the world, or live out his/her dreams, or make mistakes, or fall in love.  The randomness of these events remind me that life really doesn’t make sense, we can go at any point.

We can measure our ages as the time that we lived from birth until now, but I think this leads to a highly misleading attitude about life.  It gives young people a sense of invincibility, a sense that we can put off things we want to do until much later, because we still have time.  But nobody owes us anymore time than we currently have, and we aren’t invincible just because we are young.   A better way of looking at life is by measuring the distance between our present day, and the day in which we leave, sometime in the future.  This reduces all our ages to an equivalent value: x, a term of undefined value, where 0 < x < ∞.  We are all living in the exact same state of uncertainty, regardless of whether we are 8 or 80.

I just came across this post, and I think it is in line with my general mood in the past few weeks.  Here’s to another holiday season, and another year of trying to minimize the regrets I have in the x number of years I have left.

The Top 5 Regrets in Life By Those About to Die

1) the courage to live a life true to myself

2) working less hard

3) expressing my true feelings

4) keeping in touch with friends

5) choosing to be happy

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Advice passed on to me last week at dinner with a friend:

When you are informational interviewing and looking for jobs, try to focus less on the type of work that the person is doing and using that as the basis of your search criterion.  Instead, think of the happiest people you know, regardless of their industry, rank, title, salary, etc, and ask them what makes them so happy, and how they got there instead.  

Makes sense, right?  After all, work, fulfillment, and money are just paths to happiness; better to just cut out the middleman, the proxy.

If I were able to follow this advice with a clean conscience, I’d be admitting to myself that my own fulfillment is the ultimate goal.  Part of me still believes that the only way I can find happiness is to fulfill a greater purpose, a purpose that will be refereed by my own conscience, but which extends past my physical being and towards others.

Ironic that the thought of chasing happiness makes me feel incredibly guilty.

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