Sitting on an airplane. Flight from Auckland to Singapore. Watching a movie, reading a magazine, eating some airplane food. And then… it hit me. Why? Why do we keep doing this? Why do we keep ruining everything we have? We are all looking for happiness. For meaning in our lives. There is even a whole industry around happiness. Every book you see at the airport talks about how to be happy. And yet, we are not.

In the last couple of months I have had so many discussions with people how are doing something they do not like. They hate there jobs. Hate their wives. Hate life in general. And still, they do not make a change. Why? We see that all our consumerism is killing our planet. We completely lost touch with nature, but we do not change. Melissa Etheridge was singing it a long time ago “Have I been sleeping?” Were the first words of her song which was featured in Al Gore’s inconvenient truth. It feels as if we are all sleeping.

 

 

I am sleeping. It took me 25 years to step away from an unhappy marriage. 25 years! And knowing that the average life span is approximately 75-80 years, 25 years is pretty significant! Why did I not make a change? Fear. The only thing I can think of. Fear of other people’s opinions. Fear of not having money. Fear of losing status. Fear, fear, fear. At the end it comes down to fear of dying.

The interesting thing about dying is that it is going to happen, no matter what. I can postpone it by incredible medical progress. By a good diet and exercise. But it is still going to happen. So why am I so afraid? I have seen the words a lot. We only start living when we die. I never knew what to think of it. But now I understand. Embracing death is celebrating life!

I need to change. I need to wake up. Happiness and meaning are not in the things we do. How we look. What we have. Happiness and meaning can only be found in the moment we are currently in. Until we die.