For starters, why are we so overly impressed by and obsessed with objects and achievements of immense scale, when it is actually the tiny little things that, when put together, make big things possible?
Why do we try to create our own little worlds so we have the illusion of being completely in control of our entire existence, when we know with absolute certainty that we are not? (and no im not talking religion, im talkin chance)
Why do we go on and on about individuality being the very essence of who we are, and then accept a degrading level of conformity in virtually every facet of our lives?
Why do children believe in fairies, but "grown-ups" don't?
And why do we get so hung up on what we don't agree on, when in fact it's our differences that make life interesting?
After all, half the world is upside down, so there's absolutely no reason why we would all agree on everything.
Even something as basic and profound as "Don't chew with your mouth open" is not as widely accepted as you might think.
Why is it that when passions are inflamed we choose to argue and fight, when dancing the cha-cha is less injurious, far more enjoyable, and equally effective in resolving the tension?
And why do we feel drawn together as a species, yet we steadily build up defensive barriers around our innermost feelings and beliefs so we can never be truly close to anyone?
Perhaps the confusion arises because life is not always what it seems.
As a species, we are obsessed with superficial appearance.
We all have filters on, so we mostly see only what we want to see. When you finally open your eyes, you may be shocked at the obscured way you have been viewing the world to suit your own little plans.
With those filters removed, you can take a closer look into yourself and ask objective questions about the universe and your place in it. In other words, investigate the meaning of life.
So what is life all about? Well, you often hear that "life is a journey," but a journey to where, exactly?
Some people say that life is all about acquiring knowledge. If that's true, then why do smart people always dress so badly?
There are those who say that life has no purpose; it just "is." Whoa, that's just so "deep!"
Then there are people who say that we're simply here to have a family. After all, the desperate need to replace ourselves is etched into the genetic map of every living thing.
However, this means that our entire existance is driven by our primitive sexual urges. Okay, sure, a long weekend maybe, but our entire existance? I don't think so.
In fact, come a tiny bit closer and I'll let you in on a little secret...
ALL THESE IDEAS SOUND COMPLETELY STUPID!!!
The only theme that resonates throughout the numerous popular life theories is love. Love, in all its fragile forms, is the one powerful, enduring force that brings real meaning to our everyday lives.
Of course, I'm not talking about romantic, "kissy-kissy" love, although that is pretty powerful stuff in itself.
It's well documented that a broken heart feels far more painful than sqeezing lemon juice over a deep paper cut.
But the love i mean is the fire that burns inside us all, the inner warmth that prevents our soul from frezzing in the winters of despair. It's the love of life itself.
It's the voice that says "Celebrate life, be creative!" It brings with it the passion and understanding that some things in life are worth dying for, but there is so much more worth living for.
It encourages us to greet each moment the same way we greet an old friendat the airport, to embrace opportunities to express ourselves in a way that makes us feel glad we exist.
This love of life leads us to help others simply because it feels great to contribute to those around us.
We all know how wonderful it feels to be a rock for our family and friends (of course, there is a limit).
But as good as it sounds, and as much as "you're here to live the life you love" rings true, it still brings up a whole pile of sticky questions.
Specifically: Why exactly are you here? What is it that you truly love?
People who don't ask themselves these questions invariably go through life wondering why it isn't a lot more fun.
They often feel they've been left behind, or they can't quite put it into words, but they sense that something just smells a little funny.
The truth is that often we're so focused on what we are doing that we lose sight of where we are going.
But what are we actually doing? The modern world is filled with questionable distractions, deadlines, and priorities.
Day and night blur into one.
We get caught up in an avalanche of fears and desires that propel is into a race we can't possibly win.
So we rush, rush, rush, to get to a certain ideal point in our life, and then what?
It's just like when you drive all the way to the store, get out of the car, and then can't remember what you came for.
So many of us start off dreaming about a wonderful life that is wild and free, but that's usually a long way from where we actually end up.
Sadly, we often discover this fact right at the end, when its too late. You can't start all over again.
And let me tell you, there are some awefully bad feelings in this world. Like "bubbles in the bath" guilt, "pungent foot odor in the shoe store" embarrassment, and "I can't believe i did that on the first date" anxiety.
But of all the awful feelings that make you feel sick to your stomach, nothing feels half as bad as knowing you had a chance to do what you truly love, and you didn't take it.
So what is your life's passion? What were you put on this earth to do? The answer to these questions will unlock the great mystery of life; it's as big as they come.
Here are a few hints that may help you get on the right track:
First, no one is going to tell you about it. It's like walking around all day with a sign on your back that says "Kick me." You must discover it for yourself.
It's also highly unlikely that one day you'll suddenly be bathed in bright light and your life's purpose will be laid out in a devine vission, and it's guaranteed that you won't find it on television.
Yes, it's remotely possible that one day the blood will rush to your brain and enable you to work it all out without too much bother, but the best way is to spend some quality time alone, asking yourself the tough questions.
This excercise is not that hard, and it's all about being honest. It's as easy as "Raise your hand if you feel you could get more out of life."
It's also about getting to the essence of what really matters. Never mind who moved your cheese---ask yourself why you we looking for cheese in the first place!
For some people this will simply be a case of seeking out the moments in their life that are beautiful and true and then building a plan around them.
For others it may feel as if they are staring into an abyss.
In extreme cases, such intense introspection may cause the brain to swell to dangerous dimensions. Trust me, it's worth the risk.
If you ask the big questions and listen carefully to your heart, you will eventually hear destiny call you.
A little voice---call it your conscience, your inner self, or your internal mother-in-law---will always tell you the truth if you are prepared to hear it.
At first you may only become aware of how your life has been stuck in a rut. (Hey, join the club!)
Then you may realize what you really want, but you just can't quite make it happen.
Pretty soon, though, it will hit you right between the eyes. Just like when you're halfway to the beach and suddenly remember that you left the iron on at home.
And when you know, or even suspect you know, what you should be doing with your life, the do it! Take a wild leap in the dark if you have to, then git the ground running because you don't have a second to lose.
In spite of our feelings of invincibility and immortality, our existance is far more tenuous than we might think.
Place your hand over your chest and feel your heartbeat. That is actually your life clock ticking, counting down the moments you have left. One day it will stop. That is 100 percent guaranteed, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.
So you can't afford to throw away a single precious second. Go after your dreams with energy and passion, or you may just as well stand back and watch them wash down the drain.
If you waste your life sitting on the fence, you'll end up going nowhere in the brief time you have left. (And then, of course, there's a dangerous risk of splinters in delicate regions.)
As they say, "You can't cross a chasm in two small leaps." It takes courage and commitment to live your dreams.
(of course, one needs to remember where courage ends and stupidity begins.)
The truth is, we are all born with potential greatness and blessed with numerous opportunities to soar to dizzying new heights.
But sadly, many of us are too lazy, too concerned about what others might think, or too afraid of change to ever stretch our wings and realize our tremendous talents.
It's so important that you just do your own thing---whatever makes you truly happy---and do it as best you can. It doesn't matter whether your "thing" is making snowballs, holding your breath underwater, hog calling, or wielding a hair-dryer with dramatic effect. The only thing that matters is that you feel great about what you're doing.
Keep in mind that whatever you do, mistakes are part of life. So don't waste time kicking yourself for the past.
Don't stall or stress over whether you're doing the right thing. You'kk always know the answer in your heart.
Rather than be discouraged, always remember that rejection and resistance are almost guaranteed when you are doing something very important and very special.
When you set out to live your dreams, lots of people (including those who love you the most) will try to hold you back.
In this world there are so many miserable pessimists who have given up their dreams and will tel you, "You're wasting your time---you'll never make it."
You may well be surrounded by people who secretly want you to achieve less or even more fail completelyjust so they don't look bad. "Forget about it," they'll say. "It's not worth it and it not right for you anyway."
So it's important to understand that following your own path is incredibly rewarding, but it's definetly not easy.
Like everyone el, you will have some days that are better than others.
Occasionally, everything may seem like a total disaster area.
People wil look at you strangely when you tell them what you are trying to achieve, and you'll start to listen to your detractors and doubt yourself. "Why, oh why, didn't I keep my job selling hot dogs?"
What whatever happens, just hang on!
Remember that everybody struggles at times. It's incredibly draining to live through the day doing something you really don't enjoy or even care about.
But if you follow your dreams, at least you will exhaust yourself doing what you love most.
Now, you may not think that this will measure up to much in the global scheme of things. But believe me, it does.
When you get the most out of your life, savoring every last drop, it will transform everything about you from ordinary to extraordinary.
When you do what you love, you can pull back the bed sheets every morning feeling excited about beggining another day, and you'll be fillied with a heartfelt joy that is highly cotagious.
Just like when you start laughing out loud, and you make someone else start laughing, and then someone else, until you are all laughing so hard that your eyes water, you get terrible stomach cramps, it's hard to breathe, and you can't even stand up.
But best of all, by doing the things that make your whiskers curl up with delight (assuming, of course, that you actually have whiskers), you will inspire someone to go after their dreams, and that, my friend, is how you change the world!
You know what? Even if you make big mistakes, if you're wrong about almost everything, you'll still enjoy an amazing, fun-filled life adventure, you will go to sleep at night knowing you gave your all and made a differance, and wake up each day looking forward to a future that is as beautiful and exciting as you can imagine.
You know something else? If you just listen to your heart and use your head, you'll never be wrong.