I believe that many of us walk through our days with big questions thumping continually down in our psyches, creating an existential baseline of sorts.
What’s this life for?
Why are we here?
That baseline, at least for some of us, loops endlessly. Whether we hear it at a given moment depends on the circumstances. Like house music playing into the pre-dawn hours in the club next door to your hotel, you don’t necessarily hear it all night. The shower drowns it out. The TV. You sleep.
But that baseline is still there.
I have that existential baseline somewhere in side me but spend most of my time navigating the world on a surface level. The questions I engage with are more like:
This job or that job?
Go to the grocery store or the bakery?
What should I do next weekend?
I have spent much of my life hustling to answer those day-to-day, surface-level questions and actually avoided the deeper questions.
The results were not positive.
Because even when I avoid addressing the deeper questions, they’re still there. And they demand responses.
My failure to acknowledge those baseline questions, much less dance with them, leads to a situation where I’m subconsciously addressing surface questions with a desire to have what I’m doing satisfy the baseline questions.
Ignoring the question “What am I doing out there?” renders “Which job should I take?” largely irrelevant.
Not because all jobs are created equal (they aren’t), but because I’ll be inherently dissatisfied with both for as long as I leave my baseline questions untended.
If you keep hustling to address questions in your life but don’t seem to be getting the answers you’re searching for, it might be time to start focusing on different questions.
Get below the surface.
Find your baseline.
Start moving those hips.
And I don’t mean to be cute or clever in making this a dancing metaphor. I don’t like dancing. I’m terrible at it. But I believe that our lives, in a very real sense, depend on whether we do the hard work of learning not to answer our baseline questions—that’s largely beyond our control—but to dance with them.