By Justin Lo
I think all of us have experienced the feeling of being lost at one point in our lives. When activities that used to bring you joy suddenly feel uninspiring, and your mind begins to question what job will satisfy you for the rest of your life, it is easy to lose sight of your goals and what once brought you motivation.
In my youth, I picked up and dropped dozens of different hobbies. While I was a decent student and participated in extracurricular activities, the activities I did were their own form of heinous inactivity, a job in which I had a tinge of talent and would be beneficial for my university application. I spent my days doing homework and playing video games, doing homework and playing video games, and that was all it came to be.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. It seemed that every option I ever conceived came with its own set of problems, and to live with our human condition is to be preordained to suffer. Thus, I was struck with indecision and just did the minimum.
Yet I was still miserable in my inactivity. Nobody wants to work, but without work I had no purpose. I was just drifting and didn’t know what to do until I read some philosophy, specifically existentialist philosophy.
A core idea in existentialism philosophy is that humans are saddled with the intrinsic responsibility to fulfil themselves, whether it’s through doing something meaningful or gaining accomplishments. If this responsibility isn’t fulfilled, a price is paid through guilt and suffering, which stems from the contradiction between the good you can become and your current state. There is no easy way out in life, and understanding this fact gave me the drive to become who I want to be.
To quote existentialist philosopher Kierkegaard “You must do something, but inasmuch as with your limited capacities it will be impossible to make anything easier than it has become. You must, with the same humanitarian enthusiasm as the others, undertake to make something harder”.
Life is hard. But if you can accept the fact and not let it deter you, you will be able to become the person you always wanted to be, and live your best life.