The White Hindu has moved

The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Monday, February 28, 2011

To Achieve Before Dying

I worry a lot (actually, I could end the sentence there) about feeling accomplished in my life. I have a fear of dying without feeling satisfied by what my life was.

I've had the sense from the time I was around ten years old of my life draining away. Like in The Last Unicorn (which, if you haven't read it, is an awesome and very philosophical book). The unicorn, who is immortal, has to be disguised in a human body through magic. Her first experience of being human is the feeling of decay, she says she can feel the body dying around her and it terrifies her. (Eventually she spends so much time in the human body that she forgets what she really is and is afraid to go back).

But anyway, this feeling of my life slipping away has made me very ambitious. For some reason, though, we always focus on the things we don't have or haven't done. I've written books and short stories and I've dipped deeply into myself to write about spirituality. I hope that my writing has touched lives and will continue to do so.

It never feels like enough. No matter how much I am doing, it is never good enough. I still panic when I think of facing my deathbed and I don't know what it will take for me to feel at peace with leaving this life.

I had a brief reprieve from it when Ilana died. It seemed that she had done enough in her life, though it wasn't much more than I and I've been granted more time than she. There was a sense of peace with her that she had been wonderful and perfect and done everything she needed to do. (Even though I still wanted her here and could have continued to use her help and advice).

What is enough? How do we learn to feel satisfied with what we've done/are doing?


  1. Being a staunch perfectionist, I've started repeating a little phrase to myself every day as I go to sleep:

    "Today was a great day. I did exactly what I needed to do today."

    And I say it whether or not I actually accomplished the things I intended to do at the start of the day. It also helps me not lie awake, thinking of all the things I should have done but didn't.

    (Though I have no idea how to answer that question on a longer timeline; I'm still trying to figure out how to be satisfied with my life as a whole.)

  2. Well yeah..its a big problem..kinda like a sword hanging on your head. What if my life sums up to nothing????
    I am at a point in my life where I have tremendous pressure on me to make the choices that will direct my career. The wrong choice can affect my life. This is a genuine concern.
    Have you ever heard of "Mid life crisis" apparently when you are say 40, you tend to look back and access what you have and what you don't. Now people say depending on ones attitude and accomplishments, he(or she) may either rejoice or resent. Seems like you are have a Pre-mid life crisis.Where you feel " I have to do something!!, mid life's coming."
    In my opinion this happens when one dose not define their goal properly, you say you want to be a good Person or a good life partner or a successful engineer but how??People always define goals but seldom the means??? Or the extent of their goals.. what defines success.. x awards , y recognitions...What?? If one dose not rigidly define these parameters, the accomplishments will seem short.
    But what do I know. I am just a 22 year-soon to graduate engineer. :)

  3. Zombiedrag, I will try that, sounds like a good meditation!

    Akshay, I've heard of people having quarter-life crisis, and that seems to be what I'm doing. :) 22 is where it all starts, you graduate college, move away from the structure of school and all the plans you made for your life don't happen at all.

  4. interesting, I was just listening to a program about fear of dying in the car. You might want to give it a listen:

  5. welcome to the club....of almost seven billions. See, At least you are not alone Amba....

    Those of us who are married with kids have the similar feeling. I was married at 32. Marriage is overrated and most married agree on that. The perfect guy/gal is an illusion and not a reality, some continue to remain deluded, good for them.
    For, what appears initially to be 'right' slowly weakens and gets diluted and finally gets accepted in due course of time as long as it remains 'tolerable' . Wise understand the inherent and insurmountable design flaw even before the marriage. They are less agitated.

    Shedding ego again will elevates the sinking feeling, 'iam nothing' makes one happier that what ever little one 'can do' gets rated as 'will do' for karma purposes.cheers.shanti.