Society wants you to buzz like a good little worker bee.

The powers that be don't want you to think freely for yourself and question the system in which you're embedded, they want you to mindlessly perform your task for society.

In American culture, your desired function is to stay busy.

You're supposed to work more than you play, mask the stress induced by such a backwards lifestyle with pills, and spend your hard-earned cash on material items to impress people you don't like.

When you start questioning the world and your place in it, your friends, family, work, government, and religion all try to force you back inside the box.

The ultimate secret about life that no one wants you to know and that you don't want to admit is that it's all for nothing--everything that you do in life will return to the source from which it came.

You might be thinking, "Thanks, Captain Obvious," but be honest with yourself--how often to you acknowledge that all of the hours you work, all of the energy you put into your work, is all for nothing?

The fact of your own mortality offers you the greatest power over your destiny.

The reason no one wants you to know that it's all for nothing is because if everyone knew the system was a giant defense against mortality and not the only way of living, then society as we know it would collapse. But that's exactly why your knowledge of this fact is so significant!

When you understand that what you make--whether it's your career, business, or relationships--will disappear, you can control how you view everything that happens in your life.

You can view each failure as an opportunity, you can view each success as a way to practice non-attachment, and you can view every second as a reason to appreciate, celebrate, and rejoice.

Facing this fact gives you the power to find a game worth playing.

It helps you express gratitude and love for each minute detail of your day--the way the grass moves in the wind, the perfect confetti of fall leaves, the absurdity of sitting in traffic--everything is more beautiful when you realize its luminosity and fragility.

Allow me to show you what I mean: Imagine a beach.

As you approach this beach hearing the distant crashing of waves and inhaling the scent of salt, you notice the low tide. Your eyes are drawn to the endless amounts of wet sand stretching across the horizon, when you notice three men.

  • The first man is constructing the most elaborate sand castles, pouring everything he has into his work, without the knowledge that the incoming tide will destroy all that he's built.
  • This person ignores the reality of the situation and is constantly surprised, battered and bruised about life.
  • The second person sees the inevitability of the incoming tide and decides not to build any sandcastles--he stands obstinate.
  • This person's preoccupation with the inevitable ending prevents him from enjoying the process of playing in the sand and appreciating what's right in front of him.
  • The third person is aware of the incoming tide, knows that nothing he builds will last forever, and yet decides to build sand castles anyway.
  • This person's awareness of the end sweetens his enjoyment of the present moment and increases his passion for the creative process.

When you are aware that you are playing a finite game in an infinite universe, it gives you permission to play whatever game you like. Find your passion, whether that's inside of the system in which you were raised or not, and then enjoy the game.

Challenge yourself to move beyond the confines of your normal life experience to celebrate each day--for each moment is an opportunity to build a beautiful sand castle and appreciate it's bold stand against the incoming tide.

"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." - Nietzsche

Published on: Oct 5, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.