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Life is occasion, rise to it

The Examined Life

Zach Braff made a movie called “Wish I Was Here” in which the main character, loosely based on himself is a struggling actor who refuses to give up his dream. His family endures his dream and everyone bends over backwards to help him make it as he examines his life.

I’ve never felt that strongly about anything in my life. I wonder what it’s like to be willing to die for a dream. It makes me feel weak and lame that I don’t have that *thing* that drives me in that way. Part of the reason this site is called “Searching for Sumthin” is exactly that search.

The movie, which admittedly I have only seen once when it first came out in 2014 has stuck with me and is now representative of the question I’ve been asking everyone I meet about their art.

The blog post I wrote “What is Your Art” is a big part of the examined life. Understanding yourself deeply enough to answer this question seems like a wonderful place to start the examination. You can pick your poison in terms of who to read – Buddhists, Tony Robbins, Steve Pavlina – they are all great and all have wisdom and bits that will help guide your journey.

But in the end, it feels like introspection and honesty with yourself is the key here. Examining your life requires stripping away all the bullshit and getting right down to it. Here are 5 great questions I’m asking myself to help take this to the next level. These questions are by no means complete and are simply to get your brain moving.

The Examined Life Starter Questions

  1. What activity or thing would you do full time, without pay for 6 months, or a year? Or forever.
  2. What did you dream about when you were a kid?
  3. If you went to college – why did you go, really? And if you didn’t go, why did you make that decision?
  4. Do you believe in God? If so, why and if not, why?
  5. Do you like yourself?

There are a million other questions we could all ask but start here. I have spent a bunch of time considering the first 3 and am working on the last 2 actively. It’s not easy to examine your life. Being honest with yourself can be hard to do!

The examined life can feel like a silly exercise, but it’s the key to understanding yourself and finding you way home.

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