“The universal plight – pretty much – is a sad one. We will almost certainly die with much of our potential undeveloped. Much of what you could have done will remain unexplored. And you may well go to the grave with parts of yourself pleading for recognition, or carrying a sense of failure that there was so much you didn’t manage to do. But this isn’t really a cause for shame. It ought to be one of the most basic things we recognise about each other: a common fate we face. It’s very sad. But it is not sad uniquely to any one person. It’s a strangely consoling tragic idea that imagination always, inevitably, outstrips the potential. Everyone is unfulfilled, and that’s just a consequence of the odd way our minds have evolved.”
Extract from Calm by The School of Life
So where does that leave me? Well into middle-age and still with ambitions to make a difference in the world for the greater good and all that highfalutin malarkey. But no seriously, is this just human nature at work, the thought of achieving nothing more in this life is too depressing for words. Conversely, maybe the recognition that that to-do list in the mind needs serious attack each and every day in order to lessen the potential for regret on the death bed. There’s only limited comfort in the prospect of being in the same boat with people carrying their own sackful of regrets as the final bell tolls.