12 Big Questions for You in the Face of the Only Certainty
In order for you to give the twelve big questions the rumination they deserve, please first consider the following piece of indisputable knowledge.
This knowledge may make some temporarily uncomfortable, while others may already perceive the knowledge as a gift like I do, but in any case when pondering the big questions you'll see that this background knowledge is so necessary:
You are going to die someday, and it could be tomorrow. I personally hope you live to be 110, but I’ve got nothing to do with the decision.
People in cultures throughout the world and time have always feared death, but because dying and death was and is far more out in the open than it is here, they had to constantly face and embrace its reality.
Here in the Western world people don’t merely fear death, they chronically fight and deny the reality of it. Unlike other cultures now and in the past where death took place primarily in homes and even out in the streets and death rites and cemeteries were much more out-front and everyday affairs, here in the Western world dying and death are well-hidden away in hospitals, hospices, and funeral homes.
Unless it is within our own families and friendships, we almost never encounter real dying and death in our daily affairs. And our culture is so youth-obsessed because we don’t want to face the reality of getting old, and then older still, and then dying.
Ironically, in chronically hiding from the reality of death people forget how precious their lives are. In a sort of barely considered delusion of immortality, they consume mediocre foods and mediocre experiences -- for example, the average American consumes 153 hours of TV per month – and then they complain about how stressful, hollow, and depressing life is … that is, how mediocre it is!
But if it is mediocrity in, what else but mediocrity can anyone expect to get out?
In not acknowledging the certainty of our human death, people ironically spend their lives merely existing versus really living who they are.
So the instructions for this experience are simple. With the certain knowledge in your mind and heart that your human self is going to die someday -- and while I hope and pray that is a very long time hence it could be tomorrow for any of us -- answer the following 12 big questions:In the previous 24 hours, have you spent your energy and time on the things that matter most in your life? How much of your time and energy have you squandered on things that really don’t matter much?Have you achieved or are you actively in the process of pursuing all of your biggest dreams? If not, why not?Have you said everything you need to say to the people of meaning in your life? If not, why not?Are you in the career you know you belong in, or actively on track to get yourself in that career?Have you forgiven everyone for any perceived wrongs committed against you?Is there anything you’ve done in your past that hurt another person that you are still ashamed of? Or have you sought forgiveness – from that person if necessary, and within yourself for yourself – and are you therefore at peace?If you are in a relationship, is the man or woman that you are with the person you know in your heart that you are meant to be with? If yes, when was the last time you told them so? If no, why are you doing that disservice to him or her and yourself?Is there someone else out there that you believe may be the one you are meant to be with? Do they know it, and if not, what are you waiting for?What things do you love to do because they charge you, inspire you, revive you, and do you do them very often?Have you tried everything in your life you always meant to try, such as sky diving or learning to tango, or are you actively on track to do so?Are you actively pursuing your truth knowing that this life is a precious and limited gift? If not, why not? What are you going to commit to doing with your time and energy over the next 24 hours, and beyond?
- What are the things that matter most in your life? Guiding your children, finding and nurturing your relationship with a significant other, improving your health, creating a symphony … what matters most to you?
Now is the only sure time. Embrace it.
By Brian Vaszily, Founder of IntenseExperiences.com