The BIG Questions
Crisis or tragedy can provide an opportunity to consider the big questions in life and set us on a new path.
At some point in time, many of us are given the opportunity to ask the big questions in life. Who am I? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Why am I here? It may come on the heels of a seminal event, like the pandemic we’re all still experiencing, or it may arise after a personal tragedy or loss. Most of us do not think about it on a regular basis, so we can go years pursuing a career or lifestyle before we have something akin to an epiphany and rethink our lives.
Many people are doing just that now, after spending months in lockdown or restricted from the majority of distractions that keep us, well, distracted. Unfortunately, when we wait for a tragedy or disaster in order to make major changes in our lives, we may make poor decisions based on reactions instead of responses. Taking the time to reflect, observe and thoughtfully explore our options helps ensure that whatever changes we make will be in our best interest for the longer haul even though it may take much more time to determine what actions to take.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Kushal Choksi last week, author of On a Wing and a Prayer. His career at Goldman Sachs was forever changed on 9/11 as he made a split-moment decision to abandon his office and the co-workers who refused to leave the World Trade Center. Managing to narrowly escape, he witnessed the magnitude of death and destruction up close and was plunged into a lengthy depression where he found himself believing life was meaningless. His search for a renewed purpose began with a reluctant trip to a breathwork training session and eventually turned into a decades-long journey of spiritual discovery and a fierce devotion to the life-altering benefits of mindfulness and meditation. He and his wife now own Elements Truffles, an artisanal chocolate company built on values of Ayurveda, sustainability, giving back and ethical trade and Kushal serves on the
US board of the International Association for Human Values.
Thanks again to Kushal for sharing his experiences and gained wisdom from both 9/11 and the pandemic. You can find a link to his book, On a Wing and a Prayer, on our website and see the full interview on our YouTube channel.
I think one of the most important points we discussed was life’s journey. As we talked about last week, we are continuously a work in progress and the answers to the big questions change over time. Living in the present while pursuing our desires and goals leads to a rich and rewarding journey and ensures that regardless of what happens in the world, we’re able to mindfully respond which not only best serves us but contributes to a better world.