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:
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 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 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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    Apr 1 2013: 1. There is no purpose as such. The fact that you are here is reason enough. You decide.
    2. After years of 'doing my duty' and working a 'proper' job and paying tax and a mortgage, I realised that I just don't care about money and things in the way many people seem to. So I am now a full-time musician. I guess my purpose is to enjoy life as well as make people enjoy the party they are at.
    3. I regret the times I've combed through my past looking for regrets. The past is just a goodbye.
    4. Honestly, try to fail, just to spite the universe :)
    5. My expectations of other peoples' expectations.
    6. Doing what you love.
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    Apr 14 2013: I chose to respond to this because I am 22 and fortunately I have very recently found myself answering these questions, as well-- I am just so happy that I am taking on these better views of life now as opposed to a long time down the road, or I die never having realized any of it-- which many around us will do. I will preface my answers with a brief layout of me: I just graduated university with a degree in theatre performance, plan on fulfilling my life's desires on doing comedy, entertainment and television, but NOT with the hopes of before that many have of striking rich and having tons of fame with that definite power. I realized that comedy is who I am, fortunately I was gifted with talent in many aspects that make a good comedian, and now I plan on doing it because it would make me happy every single day of my life-- bringing joy and laughter into the lives of those around me. The money and "success" will come as it does, and I will take whatever comes my way (and if a lot comes back, I will put a lot of it back in ways that I see fit)

    1- Do you believe that you have a purpose in life?
    Personally, yes, but that is because comedy was something I was meant to do since birth.

    2- If so, what is your purpose?
    To entertain. (As well as educate.) Both of major importance.

    3- What are 2 things that you regret?
    None really....Not spending enough time with my family. (That's all I got.)

    4- What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
    Comedy. Which I am excited to do knowing that I could surely fail-- but that's saying there is a definition of "failure."

    5-What are some of the things holding you back in life?
    Having enough hours in the day to exercise daily, cook/eat healthily, work a job that pays the bills while I am working for free until my comedy career becomes sustainable.

    6-What is your definition of success?
    Being in a place that you can feasibly sustain your life (perhaps with someone else and a family) while enjoying 99% of what you do every day
  • Apr 3 2013: 1-2 i don't know a specific one but if I have to choose I'd say changing the world and looking out for every single person around me at every time

    3- so far I haven't made any choices in my life I regret or would change since I am happy with the outcome of where I am now

    4- if I knew I couldn't fail... Depends on what I am trying to achieve if it is really important I wouldn't even bother trying to fail...

    And if I try to fail and still succeed at the thing I am doing I failed myself but if I can't fail neither can I fail myself or the objective so its not really possible to do this one...

    5- death is holding me back from a lot of things in life and I have no wishes to explore what's in death at this point and try to do everything I can if I had the money

    6- definition of success... I would feel successful if I changed the way of life of a lot of people and let them make the most out of their life without getting recognized by people or honored because of doing so. (A goal nearly impossible but certainly worth trying)

    And to get back at the title if I knew what comes after death...

    Perhaps life is just to get enlightened in at the point of death and no return all the puzzle pieces of this life fall together and you'll find a purpose in being in another state of life?

    Certainly no fear of death when the time comes I'd be too curious on what's behind the so called light people see.
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    Apr 2 2013: Very interesting conversation!
    1- I think I discovered my purpose recently.
    2- To become a successful person.
    3- First, being angry and yelling at close people. Second,doing things without thinking.
    4- Play lottorey.
    5-Shyness, laziness.
    6-My definition is the achievement financial security for yourself and family.
    It was a nice experience for me to answer these questions, thank you!
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      Apr 3 2013: Thank you so much Teodor for taking your time to answer them!
  • Mar 31 2013: 1. yes but is it really when looking at the big picture? no not in any way all of us no matter how important are as useless as earthworms to the rest of the universe 2. to improve and advance our species as a whole 3. smoking (quit though) and not learning more in high school 4. destroy religion and nationalism 5. my limited intelligence (compared to unlimited intelligence) 6.making the world a better place by the time you die so it can be better for the next generation
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    Mar 31 2013: Life would be boring if we knew we couldn't fail. The possibility of failing means that there are other people whose position matters like ours matters, if we couldn't fail it would mean that only our position matters.

    I believe I have a purpose, but it's kind of a long explanation.

    In a certain way I don't regret anything. I often think that the good choices we make and the bad ones are all tied up together, if the bad things hadn't happened, the good ones wouldn't have either.

    Success for me is cultivating a mild sweetness.
  • Mar 31 2013: I admire your openness. I'm game....
    1. Yes
    2. To enquire as to Who I am.....
    3. Nada
    4. Find someone who knows the secret to igniting a Radical Psychological Shift in Humanity
    5. The INABILITY to consistently live IN the present moment Without constant interruptions from thoughts related to the Past or the Future.
    6. The ABILITY to consistently live IN the present moment Without constant interruptions from thoughts related to the Past or the Future.
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      Mar 31 2013: Thank you! I love your last two responses!
      Radical Psychological Shift? Care to elaborate? I'm curious
      • Mar 31 2013: Happy Spring......I will reflect on your question over brunch :-) I can get kind of wordy on an empty stomach. Enjoy the day!
      • Apr 1 2013: We humans have fundamentally misunderstood Life itself. We Believe & See ourselves as Separate from the other 7 Billion Souls on the planet. The Shift questions that belief. The Shift causes Us to Ask.....Who Are We?
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    W. Ying

    • +1
    Mar 31 2013: .
    My answers to:

    Question (1) ---- Yes.
    Question (2) ---- To keep our DNA alive.
    Question (3) ----
    . , , , , , , , , . . . .(a) Knowing the life purpose late.
    . , , , , , , , , . . . .(b) knowing invalid happiness late.
    Question (5) ---- To be happy validly.
    (For details, see the 1st article, points 1-3, 14, at
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    Apr 30 2013: Do you believe that you have a purpose in life?
    Yes, I believe that I do have a purpose and that God has something waiting for me.

    If so, what is your purpose?
    It is to influence and give the world and society all that I can give. It is to praise His name and His glory.

    What is your definition of success?
    It is to do your utmost best and to work your hardest. It is to bring joy and a feeling of accomplishment upon yourself. It is to do something for God's glory and to run for Him.
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    Apr 29 2013: (1- Do you believe that you have a purpose in life?)
    Yes, I do believe that.

    (2- If so, what is your purpose?)
    Belief in The Creator, The Merciful. Amid all my greed/lust and pride stay true to Islam. Be a good person, respect my parents and live a humble life.

    (3- What are 2 things that you regret?)
    Nothing specific tbh but I need to learn when to shut my mouth.

    (4- What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?)
    It might seem a bit girlish/childish but I would love to fly around.

    (5-What are some of the things holding you back in life?)
    By grace of Allah, nothing :)

    (6-What is your definition of success?)
    Live by Islam.
    And as most people said, financial security for me and my family.
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    Apr 23 2013: 1- Do you believe that you have a purpose in life? Purpose is meaningless. I'm here because I've always been here.
    2- If so, what is your purpose? To live
    3- What are 2 things that you regret? Nothing. Everything that has happened to me was meant to happen in order to lead me to the point where I am now. I'm grateful for my choices because I can't change them. From all the infinite possibilites, I've reached that one, and I think this is spectacular.
    4- What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Everything. Kiss everybody in the world. Go to outer space. Go to an alternate universe -I hope they exist.
    5-What are some of the things holding you back in life? My shyness.
    6-What is your definition of success? Being in peace with the present moment.