In Living a Good Life: Taking Small Steps

October 2023

I defined a “good life” by the achievements I had accomplished, chasing external success after external success. Trying to do it all at a young age — but feeling rushed and out of time. In the pursuit of living a good life, I travelled to 29 countries in the span of 6 years, lived in 5 countries, and provided humanitarian assistance to people around the world. Thinking that I would be viewed by others as impressively different, as I was trying to make my place in the world. But it turns out that this identity that I enveloped myself in did not provide me with the outcome I wanted. The feeling of emptiness never went away, and my chase for success grew meaningless and endless. My life went on repeat as I moved from one country to another, struggling to commit to one place as I was already searching for the next. But I was too comfortable to quit. In fact, the idea of committing made me more anxious than packing up my bags and leaving.

I justified my lifestyle because I was expanding my world view and helping others at the same time, while sharing my perspectives on Building Memorii. I am not discounting my life’s greatest achievements so far and the impact it has had on myself and others, but I had to seek deeper and understand why I was so uncomfortable with slowing down.

And like how I had to overcome the psychological discomfort of moving abroad for the first time, I too had to push through to focus inwards, instead of chasing the external successes that had been driving my life. Focusing inwards involves slowing down and turning away from what extrinsically motivates you as an individual, and directing your attention towards your own thoughts, feelings, and inner experiences, for a moment of introspection and self-care.

I do not have the answer to “living a good life”. I’m just starting on this journey myself. But I do think focusing inwards is a healthy first step to understand your relationship with yourself and others. Often times, our adult selves are trying to meet the needs of our inner child that were neglected or never met.

On this note, I decided to stay ashore for a while to prioritise taking care of myself. I am slowing down for now. I am unsure of what awaits this new direction of mine, but I am hopeful that this is the correct path for me and will look back with admiration.

May we all strive to become the better version of ourselves, for us.

Til next time!

– Simon

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