I built empathy through my fear of death

The Chase

I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to be the best at anything that has ever come across my path and could be mastered. I’ve played sports, tried to be a professional gamer, thrashed in the streets of Boca Raton, FL with a Birdhouse deck in an attempt to go pro (shouts to all the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Games). I made it as far as 180’ing on a BMX bike and totaled my beautiful Free Agent racing bike (modified for street) in the result of a head-on collision with on coming traffic. I’ve tried to start multiple t-shirt brands and built a strong interest in fashion design over the years. Writing has always piqued my interest the most. From writing music and poetry the majority of my life, having performed and recorded in studios and paying dues studying over 5 genres to create them later.

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My deepest darkest fear

After living almost a Quarter of my life and being involved in “The Chase”, I’ve come to the conclusion that my never-ending passion and hunger that has driven me to work (when I’m not sleeping or eating) was the fear of dying. When I look back in times of self reflection I ask myself “What are you chasing and why are you chasing it”. This question is hard to ask and answer because of the harsh reality that sometimes we don’t know why we do what we do. The real answer isn’t the obvious answer It’s the one one tied deeply to our emotions and our soul. Sometimes the answer is the next “high” and we all know that the next pay raise, new gadget or quick fix is only going to last as long as the previous “high” we experienced.

Newfound Empathy

The most beneficial thing my deepest fear taught me was true empathy. It’s very likely that I can claim I’m emphatic publicly to be accepted in the system I’m embedded into, but things start to change when you keep it real. The transition of my thought process from “I need to accomplish all of these goals before I die” to “How many people can I help gain more time to do the things they love efficiently” has solidified In the hopes of using everything I’ve learned in my lifetime to truly help people. Designing for your parents who are not tech-savvy becomes reality when you realize that life on Earth isn’t forever. If I can make things easier for them in the long run I’ll have more time to spend with them in the future.

Time and It’s value

A quick Google search defined time as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole”. My internal definition of time was tied directly to my fear of dying without having something to “show for”. How people choose what they spend their time on may be tied directly to what they care about, that focus can fluctuate anywhere between seconds, minutes or years. If items that depreciate in value over time drive what we care about is that a wise investment of our time? The brutal reality is that not everyone lives to be 100 years old. Lets start spending more time tackling problems progressively and at least laying the bricks and investing in things that can help people when we aren’t contributing to this ecosystem any longer.

Keeping it real

While we are being honest, keeping it real yields long term results sometimes without quick short term gains (depending on what your definition of gains are). Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t fun and is definitely a sacrifice in many forms. I’ve vowed that until the end of time (If within my power) I want to use my talents to build things that serve a true value past filling a void. There’s already enough time spent crafting that next big novelty item amongst the piles of crap we already invest precious seconds into. I would be a total hypocrite If I spent my time building things that didn’t make people a better version of themselves. I would be exposing people to my deepest darkest fear, my fear of death.