I have been pondering on the above question for oh so long and today I was deeply impressed and inspired by the story of professional adventurer, filmmaker and photographer Kien Lam.
Kien runs the website whereandwander.com which I happened to stumble upon while searching for ideas for the next Hurricane Heat in KL, Malaysia. (He had participated in the Chicago Hurricane Heat 12 Hour in preparation for a death race and wrote an extensive account of the event.) After reading that post, I got lured to click on some of the other posts advertised on the side bar. That eventually led to his bio page where he shared his story about how his family escaped the harsh realities of a Vietnamese refugee camp in Hong Kong and travelled to America where he grew up leading the typical ‘asian stereotyped’ life there. His good grades eventually got him into “a prestigious Ivy League business school and secured a job with the largest asset manager in the world.” That job as a strategist at a financial firm paid well but he often felt like something was missing. He started backpacking for 3 weeks at a time each year but often envied backpackers who were doing it for stretches of months and got to see so much more of the world. Finally he decided to quit his job and use the savings he had to spend a year backpacking. That culminated with the following video which went viral in early 2014:
After watching that video, somewhere deep within my being I was acutely stirred. In my mind I took a step back and looked at my life and once again pondered on that question.
Are we living for the sake of living? How do we make the most out of these few decades of our time here on earth?
Here are some other questions for you to ponder, reflect and hopefully, journal on:
- What makes me feel really alive?
- What am I most passionate about?
- Is this the life I want to lead?
- What is the meaning of my life? What is my life’s purpose or mission?
- Which direction is my life heading towards over the next few years? Is that really where I want to go?
- What are my gifts and how can I best use them to contribute to the world or society?
- What is my legacy that I want to leave behind? How would people remember me by?
- When I close my eyes and breathe my last breath, would I look back and think,
“I wish I had done this, or that…”
“I’ve lived my life to its fullest and would do it all again if I could!”
So… what are you living for?