“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.

Well, get used to that feeling.

That’s how your whole life will feel some day.

This is all practice. “

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters


“It’s never as good as you want it to be; It’s never as bad as it seems.”

William Chapman


So. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a lot of Life is tainted by sense of constantly missing ‘something’ as in something maybe better than where we are or what we are doing and feeling. It isn’t always this huge disappointment it’s just like a little nagging sliver in the palm of your hand.

All the while this sense is interposed with glimpses of, well, what is actually better.

Now. I don’t have any research on this but I would guess this sense of ‘missing something’ and, even worse, the glimpses of ‘something better’ has a relationship to how you may feel about ‘mattering.’ In other words, the greater sense of ‘missing’ the less you most likely feel what you do matters – and this, of course, is inextricably tied to meaning & mattering.

This becomes a looped cycle, or a doom loop as it were, because inevitably, being humans, we don’t like to accept the sense we missed something. Therefore, we begin becoming more & more careful with how we invest our time and more careful about what we do <or don’t do>. Basically, we start treating our lives carefully assuming that if we do so we will have less sense of something missing and more glimpses of ‘the better’ and, ultimately, doing more things that matter.


Are we wrong.


It means we invest a shitload of energy chasing something I believe Life simply dangles in front of us to tease us with thoughts of ‘what could be.’

Now. It is quite possible we should learn to accept the nagging sense of missing something as, well, good. Good as in it makes us a little more alert for ‘things.’


Maybe it just makes us pay attention a little more.

Maybe we should accept the feeling isn’t lostness nor the thought that maybe we were not on the right path in Life.

Maybe we should just accept it as a characteristic of a good life.


Anyway. All of this leads me to a quote, and a thought, I vehemently disagree with:


“People who succeed tend to find one goal in the distant future and then chase it through thick and thin. People who flit from one interest to another are much, much less likely to excel at any of them.

School asks students to be good at a range of subjects, but life asks people to find one passion that they will follow forever. “

David Brooks

<The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources Of Love, Character, And Achievement>


That is just bullshit.

Life doesn’t ask people to find one passion that they will follow forever. That’s like saying that I love ice cream, but I am only going to eat chocolate ice cream for the rest of my life because it is my favorite flavor.

What a potentially boring life.

What a potentially ‘missed opportunity’ life.

But mostly it is bullshit because it doesn’t guarantee you will not feel like you are missing something. In fact. I can almost guarantee if you put your ‘passion blinders’ on you will miss some things.

That said. The whole ‘passion’ discussion makes my head hurt so badly I start rubbing my temples so hard that then the sides of my head hurt too.

Let’s be clear. Although glimpses of passion in things is always fun, life actually asks you to do the best, be the best and pursue what you believes makes you the best of what you could be — that’s it.

That’s what you follow forever.

Is success achieving that ‘one goal in the distant future?’

Maybe for some.

But ‘people who succeed tend to find one goal and chase it’ is bullshit.

What happens if I suck at picking that one goal or maybe my sense of direction sucks as I ‘go thru think & thin’ getting to the horizon <only to find I am standing in nowhere land>?

I am all for people pursuing goals.

I am all for people being passionate.

I am all for pursuing thru thick & thin <assuming what you are pursuing is ‘real’ and not some fantasyland>.

But I am not all for putting the blinders on, the bit between the teeth and then run like hell toward some goal on the horizon.

I do believe you should be inspired in your actions, but inspired is very different than passion.

I have a passion for something.

I can be inspired by many somethings – and moments, and experiences, and … well … you get it.

Here is a Life truth.

The people who tend to succeed are inspired – by one thing or by many things it doesn’t matter. They are just inspired people. I would also argue that doing things that inspire you will limit your nagging feelings of missing something and unlimit feelings of mattering.


“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”

Chuck Palahniuk


All that said. Let me circle back to the beginning. No matter how careful you are, no matter how much and how hard you pursue something, you will still have a sense of having missed something.

Everyone has an undercurrent sense, a feeling, of missing something. That’s called ‘living.’ And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you can do a shitload of things that matter, and give yourself a good sense of meaning, and still feel like you are missing


Look. There is a balance in Life in that we will almost naturally have some sense of ‘something better’ no matter how careful we are in managing our lives or the pursuit of some goal.

Having said all that.

When I read the opening quote, I had a better understanding of why people are almost always unhappy or feel like what they do doesn’t matter.

Because if we DON’T accept the sense of missing something as part of living a full Life, well, that means you will spend your entire life chasing that sense to make it go away and in doing so that pursuit will inevitably create an unhappier Life and a greater feeling that what you do doesn’t matter as much as something else you could be doing. Ponder.

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Written by Bruce