The summer before my last year of high school, I knew that I had to take a decision on what I was going to do after graduating from high school. This meant that for the first time in my life I was really confronted with the question “What do I want to do with my life?”
So I asked myself: “What is the best thing that I can do with my life?”
Then many possibilities passed before my mind’s eye, but I saw that choosing a materialistic life goal would be foolish because everything is impermanent. Clinging to materialistic life goals is a deluded attempt at trusting that which cannot be trusted; it will all turn out to be fleeting and empty.
At the time that I was contemplating this question, I was deeply puzzled by not knowing the purpose of life. And that was also relevant to the question of what I wanted to do with my life. If you don’t know the purpose of your life, how can you know what the best thing is that you can do with your life?
So I concluded that the only life goal that could possibly make sense would be discovering what exists beyond impermanence and finding the reason for my existence — A spiritual path.
The following question after this conclusion was: “What is the best spiritual path to take?”
I did not want to take a religion at face value, because I wanted to be able to verify the truth of the chosen spiritual path by my own insight. So the narrower answer to my question was: A path of spiritual enlightenment. I chose Buddhism for its logical philosophy and its emphasis on meditation practice.
Finally I was left with the question: “What is the best way to follow the Buddhist path?”
I felt that in general the rule applies: the more intense you practice, the better you become. And monastic training is the most intense way to practice Buddhism.
So my ultimate conclusion was clear:
The best thing that I can do with my life is to become a Buddhist monk.