Tuesday, May 08, 2012


He was trying hard to launch a second career, committing valuable time and money resources. One night he asked me: "What if I'm just wasting my time? What if I wake up one day and find all these efforts and costs meaningless?"

"You will," I said. He looked stunned. I continued: "We all, no matter how successful, wake up one day and feel we've failed. No one I've ever met, from top to bottom of the money/success ladder, has found their life an unalloyed success. We all finally have regrets, a sense of incompleteness, if not hopelessness and meaningfulness. Old age becomes a very harsh mirror when looking back."

"Then I should give up now? Even if I succeed there will always be a gnawing sense of failure?"

"No. Just the opposite. Since we are definitely doomed to lose in any transcendent sense, we are free to play the game with great verve and joy, daily enjoying the thing attempted for its own pleasure. The rule: always do what you love and whether you succeed or fail--which is, as I said, in any larger sense, is irrelevant--you will succeed...in happiness. The only meaning life has to give you is the pleasure and benefit your efforts give you and others. Successes and achievements do not measure meaning; the meaning is in the pride and self-respect of the effort."

"Looking back, that is what is remembered: I took my shot fully, and had a good time doing it. We don't regret the things we've done; we regret the things we've never tried."


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