The ideal life (Part 1)

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So many people have absolutely no idea why they exist. They wonder why they are born into this world; what purpose they are to fulfill. And although there are those who believe that they exist for one divine purpose or another (religious or otherwise), many people are unable to understand why they are not fulfilled. Some people may pretend to be happy, but deep down their hearts they feel a certain kind of unhappiness they wish would just evaporate. Everyone wants to be happier in their lives.   

An ideal life would be a life with purpose, meaning, and lasting fulfilment. It is the kind of life you will love to reflect upon, smile at, and be proud of when you get old. Even before you give up the ghost, you can confidently nod your head, beat your chest, and say out loud that you have lived a truly meaningful and well-spent life. 

There are people who have lived for more than a hundred years, and have not accomplished anything of note. There are also numerous people who have passed away for centuries, many of who have died like the birds of the air and the beasts of the sea whose existence have been lived out in the pursuit of survival and comfort, rather than in the experience of sublime and empyreal purpose. These people merely lived out their lives doing the mundane, hustling, trying to impress other people, striving to keep up with the Joneses, satisfying their greed and lust, and searching for love, all with the hope that they may experience the fulfilment they’ve always longed for. 

Perceiving a deficiency, we often think that solving the problem of deficiency will bring the fulfilment we strongly desire. Poor people desire to be rich, weak people desire to be strong, sick people want to be well, ugly people want to be beautiful, etc. And while working hard to overcome our problems of deficiencies is praise-worthy, doing that alone cannot give us lasting fulfilment. Solving a problem of deficiency will elevate the quality of your life, but it cannot guarantee fulfilment. There is nothing wrong in making an effort to be rich, strong, intelligent, knowledgeable, etc. However, thinking that by so doing you will experience that lasting fulfilment your soul deeply yearns for is being mistaken. 

One very common misconception held by many people is that fortune and fame will bring long-lasting fulfilment. Many people missed it the moment they believed that being super-wealthy and famous would in fact make their lives very significant. And what they failed to realize is that there are so many famous and wealthy people across the planet who feel unfulfilled and unhappy in their lives. The mere fact that Creed is affluent and well-known doesn’t mean he is basking in bliss. The same emptiness you feel, and the same feelings of insignificance and worthlessness that may seem to beset you, beset many famous people too. This simply shows that achieving fame and acquiring great wealth cannot make your life more meaningful; although, they could solve some problems and aren’t necessarily bad. 

In the real sense, everybody has a different idea of what the ideal life is all about. While Tobey attaches fulfilment to success in his football career, Ronan may desire to achieve the title of the World Heavyweight boxing champion, Elena may be aspiring to be an award-winning movie star, and Collins may want to be a reverend father in a Catholic church. Our ideas of the ideal life may differ based on the differences in our orientations, cultures, ideologies, and experiences in life. And while we all share different aspirations, values, and views, our souls yearn for the same things- constant happiness, security, safety, and satisfaction.

Lastly, there is blessing in seeking improvement. Unless your goals are so high that it requires a lifetime to achieve, you will always wonder why you are not fulfilled. You must constantly keep ‘marginal utility’ high, if you want to continually experience the ‘high’ of feeling fulfilled. And the way to keep marginal utility high is by constantly striving to achieve greater goals. Let your goals be so great that they require so much time and resources to accomplish. Let your dream be so big that it requires a lot of effort from you. It is only through this process that you will continue to experience the ‘high’ that comes from feeling fulfilled in your life.