Houston, we have a problem
It wasn’t a very fun experience when I realized that I had lost the ability to enjoy my life. I immediately felt guilty, regretful, sad, and downright stupid. Here I was, supposedly living the dream, and yet I couldn’t figure out how to enjoy a surf session with my amazing family.
The good news is that the guilt and self-pity were soon replaced by a strong feeling of hope. I knew that since I got myself into this mess, I could get myself out of it. It’s been said that rock bottom is a great place to rebuild from because there’s a solid foundation under you. And so I started putting myself back together by getting back to the basics.
Whenever I feel like I am floundering, I always think about my own death. Not in a suicidal sort of way, but in the framework of the stoic philosophy and Memento Mori. This Latin phrase means “remember you must die” and has been a huge contributor to helping me find clarify what is most important to me.
So on the car ride home after surfing, I started thinking about my own death. I imagined myself lying on my deathbed and I asked myself what are the only things I would care about in my final minutes? Two questions immediately sprang forth in my mind.
First, I would want to know that I had lived a meaningful life. That my life had mattered, and that I was able to positively impact the lives of everyone I met.
The second question that flashed across my mind surprised me. It was spoken simply and lovingly, and the image that came with it was that of a smiling Buddha figure. As he sat in my mind’s eye, he gently asked me:
“did you enjoy your life?”