Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, born in the 1870s, lived a glamorous life. A French novelist and actress, she incited controversy with lifestyle choices that may raise eyebrows even today, and she was the first woman to be given a state funeral in France. Regardless of opinions one may have about how she lived, she lived a full life, at least to the perception of those from the outside looking in. Surely someone who lived so unapologetically would revel in the life she had created for herself – unbound by convention. So why is it that Collette is quoted as saying, “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”
Rick Browne, Xavier University’s Director of Career Services, whom I interviewed about his insights into finding career fulfillment, thinks it’s human nature to never be satisfied – to always be after the next best thing, only to achieve it and feel that it still isn’t quite enough. Such being the case, how unfortunate it is that our very nature prevents us from fully relishing each moment. Though if it wasn’t our nature to constantly wonder what possibilities could be next, we would never drive ourselves to the heights of achievement that we celebrate as uniquely human. We would never ask ourselves, “What if?” What if I was to push myself to achieve beyond this point I’m at now? What if the possibilities for the future are greater than I imagined?