Never Done: Making the "Now" Better

Photo by  Pranam Gurung

Photo by Pranam Gurung

I’m never going to be “done” at a point where I’m entirely content with everything that my life has come to.

I am never going to proclaim, with unwavering confidence and belief, that “this is it! I’ve made it! My life is a success!”

As long as I’m still breathing, there is going to exist the sense of curiosity and wonder that I’ve cultivated and innately possess as a human being.

And while there are undoubtedly those moments where I feel as though I could die happy, I don’t anticipate running towards my end any time soon.

I spend a lot of my time, probably more than I can even admit to myself, thinking about the future.

Despite my well-intentioned practice of being present and mindful, I continually wonder what I’ll do for a “career”, about the type of man that I endeavor to be in this world, about what I want to learn and experience and accomplish during my short time on this earth.

It’s important to set goals, to have an idea of the person I aspire to be, and to weave these ideas within the framework of my life in such a way that I have direction and a sense of drive.

Yet I’ve found it important equally important, and tremendously freeing, to keep in mind that I’m not ever going to be done.

There is not a single job, relationship, or moment that will ever quench my thirst to continue living.

Nothing lacks potential for development, and further exploration. Not the most supportive relationship I can fathom, nor the most inspiring job I dream of, nor the fittest, most versatile physical body I can imagine.

Goals change. Aspirations change. People change. Places change.

What doesn’t change, however, is that underlying curiosity that makes life worth living and which also means that we are never done until we’re done.

If I make a billion dollars and retire, life will get boring eventually if I don’t have something else to drive me.

This is not to say we need to work, at least by the conventional understanding of the word, but rather that everyone, no matter their station, needs curiosity and excitement and discipline that we can grow from.

Never Being Done Makes the “Now” Better

Bearing in mind this never ending desire for growth and new experiences helps make real, at least for me, the beauty of the things I am currently doing.

It adds a sense of importance to cultivating that pleasure that comes from doing, without the desire for a particular outcome. Those moments where we do something because we don’t think while we’re doing it: getting lost in our favorite sport, making love, laughing, enjoying a meal with friends.

The idea that I won’t ever be done paradoxically makes me more grateful for what I have done. After all, the last thing I’ve done could be the last thing I’ll ever do.

Knowing that there will never be a true peak or end to my experience is wonderful, because it takes away any illusion I have of a hierarchy when thinking of my accomplishments and aspirations.

Nothing is objectively better or worse than the next experience, and I am better able to see that there is learning and opportunity in everything I do, no matter how hard that fact is to see at times.

Redefining success in this regard takes a whole load of pressure off of me.

Because I no longer aspire to attain that “I’ve made it” moment, or rather because I now have a better understanding that it doesn’t really exist in the first place, I feel like I have in fact…made it.

The saying that says we can live more in a moment than some do in a lifetime has always struck me.

Not in its comparative quality, but rather in its reinforcement of the ideal that a moment can be worth more than a lifetime of forward looking and regret if truly lived.

I endeavor to compound those moments such that I can be more present, and more grateful, in the ones that I do experience, instead of painstakingly seeking to be in the ones that I think I “should” be.

I’m never done. And that sounds pretty okay.

I hope you enjoyed this piece, and would love to hear from you in the comments.

Thanks for reading!