Here's a man who knows what he loves to do and does
it, but who also is very realistic about the fact that
we're all going to be leaving this planet one day.
It would be very tempting to start feeling sorry for
ourselves if we were to find out our time is more limited
than we think it is, but from a healthy perspective, it's
much more important to simply accept the fact that our
lives will end, and then cram every moment we have with
real living, while we can do so.
Not only was he realistic about death, but Isaac also knew
what he loved to do with his time. His particular
way of contributing to the world was through writing, so
he knew that he would stick to his writing until the day
he died. He had accomplished many things in life,
but most of the real contributions he made to other people
came through the words he composed, and he knew that the
best contribution he could make in his last six months
would be to continue with his writing.
I think the feeling that comes to us sometimes that
there's "more" to life, that we should be
traveling or doing some other work or jumping out of
airplanes comes from the fact that we really haven't found
the things that we truly love--or at least that we haven't
made them a major part of our lives yet. But if we
are doing what we love--even if it's part time when we're
not working at our jobs or with our families--we know that
we would be content to continue contributing to this world
in that way until our last day on the planet.
I teach, and I know that one of the driving forces behind
teachers is the desire to pass on knowledge, to help
others to grow and learn. If I were to find out that
I would die in six months, I can't think of any places
that I'd go to instead of teaching more. It fulfills
me in a very genuine way. My weekends may be filled
with more hikes and more overnight stays at bed and
breakfasts, but I definitely can't say that I would feel
the need to do anything different.
Have you found what you love to do? Are you doing
it? If not, why not? Doing what you love and
what you know contributes to others is one of the most
amazing blessings of this life, and when you do find it
and pursue it--on any level--you can reach the level of
peace and equanimity that Isaac showed.