Life As A Work In Progress

We were supposed to have it all figured out by now, weren’t we?

We were supposed to know exactly what we wanted and exactly how to get it by now, isn’t that what we were told about being an adult?

We were already supposed to be the person we imagined when we were 10-years old, right?

And then life happened.

And as we got older we slowly realized that 95% of what we thought we were supposed to have figured out by now wasn’t anything close to what life is really about.

Because the lives we are living are not finite. They are not written in stone. They are not stagnant. They are not about breaking through a certain threshold.

Our lives are one massive, gigantic, and sometimes overwhelming work in progress.

There will never come a time when we are complete and finished human beings because the state of being complete and finished is the antithesis of what being human is all about.

Life is malleable. Life is constantly throwing new things our way. Life is more a continuous learning experience than anything else. And, as far as I can tell, this is the way life will always be.

But this is not a statement about how nothing is ever good enough or things are never finished. Products are finished. Books are finished. That project at work that everyone hated was finished. That apple pie we tried to bake a few months ago was finished. But the act of continuing to exist as a human being on this planet is a little more complex than just following a recipe and sticking something in an oven for 45 minutes.

There will never be a time in this life where everything makes complete sense.
There will never be a time in this life where we won’t struggle at least a little bit.
There will never be a time in this life where we are finished working on ourselves.
There will never be a time in this life where we have everything figured out.
These things will never come to pass because existing consciously necessitates work.

There will always be things that we can get better at. There will always be things that challenge us. There will always be mistakes that we want to correct.

Though the idea of every person on this earth being a continual work in progress may seem daunting, it’s important to understand that this will always be the case. Because we are not a car or a piece of furniture or a line of code. There is no finished state to a human being. And it is the act of understanding this reality that keeps us open to life and the possibilities that come from accepting the nature of being human.

The second we feel like we have everything figured out is the second that we no longer give life the chance to change our minds or enlighten us.

The second we feel like we are no longer a work in progress is the second we stop making progress.

And the most progress is often made when we are amongst our hopes and dreams and side projects and things that inspire us and things we want to change for the better. It is amongst these things where life exists in its purest form. And it is amongst these things where we usually realize we are a work in progress and we will always be a work in progress.

As unsettling as this idea might be, it is surely one of life’s most important challenges to understand that everything about who we are is not finite and will continue to evolve and grow as time continues to pass.

It would probably be a much easier existence if this wasn’t the case, but the world would be substantially worse off if our lives weren’t a continual work in progress.

– Charlie Scaturro