Updated: November 20, 2020
I once attended a seminar, where the speaker asked the audience to be honest and raise their hands if the statements he’s going to say apply to them.
“Have you ever laughed at someone who accidentally slipped while walking?”
“Have you ever hidden snacks from others because you don’t want to share?”
“Or have you ever purposely ignored someone’s text message and later made the excuse that you were just too busy to reply?”
“Have you ever had that nagging feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life?”
“Have you ever wished that life has an Undo button, so you can correct the mistakes you did in the past?”
“Or have you ever felt a hole in your chest, which radiates a feeling of emptiness when you’re alone with your thoughts?”
The speaker went on for about 5 minutes. The questions went from silly to serious, as above. And for each question, almost everyone would raise their hands.
We were so engrossed with the questions that it was a mild surprise when he stopped asking and shouted, “Congratulations, you are all human.”
We all have that hole.
Everyone is born with that hole inside. It’s an uncomfortable source of emptiness and self-doubt.
And just like when we see a hole in real life, we feel that it shouldn’t be there. That it should be filled and made to disappear.
For some people, they fill that hole with food or television. Some turn to drugs or alcohol. While some will fill that hole with clothes or gadgets.
Doing so actually works. But not for long. And most of the time, it comes back the next day, or the following week, or month.
So we eat some more until we get fat. We watch more television until it consumes all our free time. We develop an addiction to our vices. And we fall deep into debt from all the meaningless purchases we’ve made.
Have you ever done any of these things?
Congratulations, you are human.
Having that hole — that lingering feeling of emptiness, is part of the human experience. And it will never go away. That’s the bad news.
However, the good news is that you can learn to accept this fact and come to terms with having that hole for the rest of your life.
We all have that hole. It’ll never disappear.
When you focus too much on filling that hole in your chest, you’ll begin to neglect other parts of your body, other aspects of your life.
So the first thing you can do to deal with that feeling of emptiness is to shift your focus on improving yourself — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
Imagine how awesome it would be if we have wings like birds. But we don’t and instead, we have arms. And we’re okay with the fact that we’ll never be able to fly like an eagle.
But we didn’t stop there. We focused on our other strengths. And eventually, our minds and imagination led us to invent planes and helicopters, jets, and spaceships. And we soared farther and higher than any bird could.
Improve yourself. Strengthen your body. Learn new skills. Nurture relationships. And you’ll see that the hole will begin to fade in the background, and not bother you at all.
But of course, and as I’ve said — that feeling of emptiness will always be there.
And when the desire to fill that hole becomes unbearable, don’t consume — eat, watch tv all day, do vices, spend recklessly, etc. — as most people do.
Instead, create something. Fill that hole with meaningful work.
Start a personal project. Follow your curiosity. Pursue a passion.
Write. Draw. Paint. Compose songs. Invent a new dance step. Start a Youtube channel. Create a blog. Create a podcast. Go into photography. Learn typography. Volunteer.
This is the right, long-term solution. Because when you wake up the next day, those things will still be there for you.
They don’t run out like comfort food or end like a television series. They don’t go out of fashion like clothes, or go broke and become obsolete like gadgets.
That habit of creation will always be there for you — helping you fill that hole, one day at a time until the hole becomes so small, you barely notice it anymore.
We all have that hole. It’ll never disappear. And that’s okay.
Your life is not just about that one failure, that broken relationship, that missed opportunity, that second chance which never came — or whatever that reason is why you think your life is empty.
Whenever that feeling of emptiness visits you, always remember… that is normal. You’re not weird. And you’ve not become less of a person because you have that hole.
Instead of lingering on that hole in your chest, focus on improving other parts of yourself. Instead of succumbing to consumption to fill that hole, turn to creativity to make that hole smaller.
Always remember that the hole will always be there because you are human. And that’s okay. You are okay. You will be okay.