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How to Live Life to the Fullest: Be the Container (or Be Contained)

Since my last post about fear, I think I’ve been able to overcome my anxiety. Maybe my irrational worries will come back when May 30 comes around (the day I take the leap to become a digital nomad), but for now, I’ve been asking this important question…

Does Anything Really Matter?

Sometimes when I have all this pent up anxiety, I think “why”? Is there really a point to all this worry? Because in the end, nothing really matters.

What I mean by that specifically is the little fears and anxieties we have, the need to be socially acceptable, the need to follow conventions- it’s all insignificant in the end. Because when you’re on your deathbed reflecting on your life, you’re not going to think about any of that shit.

Instead, you’re going to ask, “in the 90 or so short years of my life, did I really live the way I wanted to?” 

I always think about death and wonder, if I looked back and watched a movie about my life, would I think it were excellent? Or would the movie crash and burn?

I got in another fight with my mom the other day, and it made me realize that I CONSTANTLY live for my parents. I always think about meeting my parents’ expectations and making them happy. They’ve sacrificed so much for me and gave me so many opportunities. But I’ll never truly satisfy them unless I’m like a doctor or something and am married to a smart Asian doctor, lol. My mom likes to tell me how she wishes we didn’t move to the United States and wishes she raised me a bit differently. It’s like she’s unsatisfied at how I turned out.

But what if I just followed exactly what she wanted of me? I work a day job for another 35 years, get married to someone she wants me to marry, and have kids? What if I spent my life living her wishes for me?

This would create another unhappy deathbed moment of “well fuck, I did life all wrong.”

Ultimately, I don’t want to live someone else’s life, I want to live mine.

office life

With life being so short, it makes sense to want to live life to the fullest. But our tendency to please others and be “respected” in society gets in the way. WHY do we do this to ourselves? Why do we think we have to follow this one way of living – why do we care so much what people think?

We’re like ants. We’re insignificant. We’re 1 miniscule unit amongst 7 billion people in the world. We wrap ourselves in our own self-centered worlds that we care about the STUPIDEST things. Maybe we’ll want more “likes” on our social media. Or we’ll wish for the latest handbag that Sophia currently owns, or the sports car Tom just recently bought. And we’ll consume ourselves with jealousy when we see Steve getting promoted at his job. We’ll be on this race for social status, money, and fancy things.

But none of it matters.

Have you ever had an out-of-body experience where you witnessed something so glorious that you felt small in a huge world? We need to stay in that state. We need to ground ourselves and remember that life is ENORMOUS and BEAUTIFUL, and it’s what we make of it.

Mark Manson really hit the nail on the head with his article “The Subtle Art of Not Giving Fuck” – “to not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give a fuck about something more important than adversity.”

Every time I bring up my digital nomad quest to my parents, I get this tone of disapproval from them and they ask me why I have to be so crazy. And even though my friends seem supportive, a quick scan on Facebook checking up on what “normal” people are doing would give me second thoughts and make me question myself. I really need to stop giving a fuck about adversity and have faith in my bigger vision.

We need to grab life by the horns – and do it OUR way, because life’s too short to feel anxious about what we’re “supposed”to do and what other people think.

Be the Container or Be Contained

Sometimes I have these out-of-body experiences where I feel like my body is merely a vessel. By chance I could have been…a bee. Or a bear. Or the Queen of England. Or a poor child in the slums. I could have been born into unfortunate circumstances.

We’re all born into a certain environment, and each person has their own set of battles depending on their culture, financial situation, etc.

When I examine my idols, I realize I appreciate them because they have defied societal norms and/or overcame hardships. J.K. Rowling, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Pat Flynn, Tim Ferriss…these people could have gone along with how they “should behave”. But they didn’t let what is expected of them, define them.

That is why I highly respect female leaders. When you’re placed in the world as a girl you may have more disadvantages than the male counterpart. Most of us are shaped to think that we are destined to become housewives or that we need a man to survive this world. It’s the leaders that step above this expected behavior that really inspire – those that go beyond their “vessels”.

Yes, we can be limited by our vessels/current situation. But do we want to stay contained by these barriers?

The more we remove thoughts of “I can’t”, the more we can.  The more we step away from outside expectations of ourselves, the more we become in tune with ourselves. The more we step into the idea that most things don’t matter, the more we’ll realize what TRULY matters. It is then we can experience our full potential, and it is then we can remove our boundaries. That is when we can become the container.

The container IS the boundary because as the saying goes, “you are your own limits”.

So how do you live life to the fullest? Be the container, not the contained.



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