Just ended a life coaching session with Mr X. I thought it was an interesting exchange worth sharing with readers of Empower Advisory’s Blog.
X: Coach, I know this sounds silly, but till now, I haven’t found a real meaning or purpose to my existence. I step back, look at how things are gonna end and it just makes me feel down.”
Me: It’s not silly. We have no purpose when we came to existence. Our existence here is the result of our parents, whether they intended or not. I can’t remember myself insisting to be born rightaway to do something.
X: (Laughs) That’s true. I don’t remember threatening my parents, “Give birth to me quick. I’ve got something very important I have to do!”
Me: Our purpose and meaning is shaped by our experience from birth and what makes us happy or what we think makes us happy.
X: What do you mean? Between the two different kind of happiness?
Me: One type of happiness is what innately makes you happy without being told. The other one is what society seems to tell you what you need to be happy. Like being gorgeous. Drive fancy cars. Having your own family. That kind of things. You’re not alone. Many people drift through life not quite knowing what they are here for. Some turn to religion. Some turn to other stuff.
X: Yes, yes…
Me: The key is identifying what makes you innately happy and go for it, while being practical about it. Life is about being happy. Of course there are bread and butter issues. Bills to pay. Installments to keep up. Part of the package.
Our lives are limited. So if you have been happy most of the time, you’ll be glad that you had that time in the sun. If you’ve have not been that way, then you’ll be glad that when your time’s up, you’re released from your never-ending misery. So you can say life is fair.
X: But isn’t it sad that after being happy, it all ends eventually?
Me: Ah, you want immortality.
X: Yes, in a way. Don’t we all?
Me: And what would you do with immortality? Do everything possible you can think of. You know what happens that way right? You’ll probably not do most of the things on your list, since you can always do it next time. There’s no urgency.
X: (Laughs) True, true.
Me: Don’t think of death as the be all and end all. What comes after, nobody quite knows. Many have gone before you. And many more will go after you. It’s a horrifying idea to some but it’s strange the same people don’t feel that way when they shut their eyes to sleep every night. What makes them so sure they will wake up the next day?
X: So you’ll think there’s life after death?
Me: I don’t know. That’s my honest answer. But I sure want to be happy in this lifetime then work at it after death just in case there’s no such world after death to pursue happiness. Living a happy life in this lifetime is the best insurance against finding out that there is no such chance after death.
X: Thanks Coach. I like the insurance analogy. I’ll come up with a list of what innately makes me happy and practical ways to go about it and we can discuss further…
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