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Fonkou Djoendia

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Are you living before you die? Are you living off your passion?

Hello Ted world! It's great to be back again! Recently, I have been doing some soul searching, thus, I have been asking myself a lot of questions. And when I ask myself deep questions like that, I like to ask other people the same questions to sort of, if possible, look at things from a different perspective, and in the process learn about people. I have talked to a lot of people lately, especially adults. I am 17 by the way. I have talked to all my teachers, parents of friends, went to a retirement home to talk to some much older adults there. And before I share some of what I've learned over the months. I really wanted to get your opinion. So if you don't mind, I would more than appreciate if you could please answer these following questions. I want you to be as honest as possible. If you feel uncomfortable doing so in public, but still would like to share, please, feel free to email me: fonkoudjoendia@yahoo.com.
The questions:
1- Do you believe that you have a purpose in life?
2- If so, what is your purpose?
3- What are 2 things that you regret?
4- What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
5-What are some of the things holding you back in life?
6-What is your definition of success?
Don't have to answer all the questions, however, I would love it if you did, but don't have to!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! :) Can't wait to read all the answers!

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    Mar 31 2013: HELLO FONKOU......nice to see you again:>) Looks like you have been doing lots of exploration.....good job!!!

    1. Yes
    2. To learn, grow, and evolve as an individual while contributing to the whole.
    3. I regret nothing.....regret uses too much energy that can be used for learning and growing.
    4. I would do exactly what I am doing. In my humble perception, there is no failure.....only exploration.
    5. No thing is holding me back in life.
    6. Being in the moment with kindness, compassion, empathy and unconditional love.

    I cannot wait to read YOUR answers Fonkou, which I sincerely hope you will share:>)
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      Mar 31 2013: Hi Colleen! You seem like a very sweet woman! Very refreshing!
      Nice answers, but would you honestly say that you don't have any regrets at all? There's not one thing you would do differently given the chance?
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        Apr 1 2013: Hi Fonkou,
        You seem like a sweet person as well, and I've enjoyed your explorations in TED conversations:>)
        Yes, I am honest with my answers to your questions:>)

        Having no regrets, and thinking that I might have done something differently are different in my perspection.

        Regret: "to mourn the loss or death of; to miss very much; to be very sorry for; grief or pain tinged with emotion; an expression of distressing emotion; disappointment..."

        I do not spend time and energy on those emotions/feelings for a past event. As I continually evaluate information and lessons I've learned in the life adventure, sure, there are things I may have done differently. However, I did the best I could with the information I had at any given time.

        As I grow and learn, it does no good to focus on what I could have done and regret what I did. In my perception, every moment in the life experience is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. If I spend time and energy with regrets, I am focusing on the past, and the heart and mind are not open to exploring the present moment.....make any sense?
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          Apr 1 2013: I understand what you said with perfect clarity! While reading that though, it reminded me of a woman I talked to a while ago. She was around her 50s. While in the conversation, I noticed that every time I gave her a compliment, she became uncomfortable and quickly moved on to another topic. I noticed it and pointed that out to her. By then she broke down, and talked about how she spends her whole life trying to be the absolute best person she can be, but every time she does one negative thing, it's all people remember. Then she went on to tell me about all the regrets she has. It was very clear that this woman lived in the past. And will continue to do so for a very long time. Very sad, just thought I would because that's what I thought when I read that! :)
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        Apr 1 2013: Fonkou,
        Unfortunately, many people orchestrate their lives based on what OTHERS remember or may think about them. Perhaps that is one factor that fuels the feeling of regret? Trying to make sure that s/he pleases other people?

        At the end of the day, what is important to me is how I feel about myself. A huge lesson and example of this happened years ago when I challenged a toxic business in our community. As the whistleblower, I brought the situation to the attention of the local governing board, state environmental board and USEPA.

        The owners were in violation of local, state and federal environmental laws....they had NO permits for ANY business, much less a toxic business in the middle of a residential area in the village. The owner was the chair of the local permitting board.

        My life was threatened, and because these folks lived in the community all their lives, it seemed like EVERYONE supported them, and I felt like public enemy number one. It was said that I was just tryng to "ruin" them because I didn't like them....lots of stories like that circulated.

        Because I was threateded and warned to "drop" the issue.....get the hell out of town.....watch my back....etc., I was afraid to go out into the community. I used to walk in the woods every day, and I stopped because of fear.

        It was the first time in my life I did not feel liked or accepted by a group of people. It took several years to resolve, and I kept asking myself....do I want to be liked, and feel safe? Or do I want to do what is right for our environment? Over and over again, the answer was that I need to do what I feel is right for the environment, and if I am threatened, never feel safe or liked again, it is ok.

        The business was finally ordered by the environmental court to vacate the site, and as soon as that happened, some people started speaking in favor of what I did. It took some folks many years to understand the ramifications of of the business and my reason for taking action.
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          Apr 1 2013: Well, I think it goes without saying that you're very strong woman! Just wow! I feel honored that you took part in this conversation!
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        Apr 1 2013: Dear Fonkou,
        I am honored to participate in this conversation, in which you have asked some VERY GOOD questions that impact all of our lives. I did not come to the earth school to be complacent, and I like exploring. If everyone asked the insightful questions you have asked, and were more mindfully aware in him/herself, we might have a more peaceful, content world:>)

        Are we REALLY living life with passion and purpose, without regret? What, to us as individuals, is failure and success? What does it mean in our everyday lives? These are GREAT questions!

        I am VERY impressed with your insight, and with all the young people who contribute to TED in such a meaningful way. It gives me hope for our future...thank you Fonkou:>)
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          Apr 1 2013: Thank you Colleen! I really do try. I am always asking myself the big questions in life. That's all I'm about. I feel as though if we all participated in the same conversation, then the world would be a much better place. But unfortunately, the majority of people do not think about such things. Which is why I want to be a talk show host. I can relate to different people. Through that, I hope, I will get the world, if not, then just the U.S to get involved with what happens at Ted.

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