When we are young we think life will go on forever but as we get older and we see some of our friends or even celebrities we grew up with start to pass away we realize we only have an infinite amount of time left. I know it’s not fun to think about, especially if you are struggling with regret from past decisions or actions, but you can’t get the most out of life if you forget about the fact that there is a time-limit.
I don’t think anyone likes to face their own mortality, me included. What will it be like to stop living? What will life be like for those left behind? Will they remember you after a few months or years? Will you simply fade in to the background of their memories like an old black and white photograph? The thought of that happening should send a shiver down your spine.
Here are a few points I came up with to help keep things in perspective and hopefully propel you forward if you find yourself in a slump and are ready to give up on life.
1. Remember that life if not a competition. You are not competing against anyone else. If a friend of your’s hits success that doesn’t mean you can’t. There is lots of success to go around, and remember that your definition of success is probably much different than someone else’s. Sure, we all think it would be great to be rich but is that what we really want out of life? Wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by people who intimately know you and love you and to be able to rest your head on your pillow at the end of the day and know you made someone’s life a little better that day? Isn’t that worth more than a bigger TV or newer car?
2. Are you being true to yourself? Are you pretending to be someone you’re not just because you don’t want to upset anyone? You can’t achieve success in life if you are being incongruent. That means you’re trying to be one thing on the outside but on the inside you want to be or do something completely different. That duplicity is very draining both emotionally and physically. No wonder you are having such a hard time getting ahead! You are exhausted trying to keep up appearances. You will NEVER reach your dreams as long as you are not being true to yourself. It’s time to risk offending your loved one and choose to be who you really are.
3. Always put people first. People before things is the way to go. Relationships carry so much more value than items. The most precious thing you have to give is your time. Don’t waste it chasing after more possessions. They will only depreciate and drain you. Relationships will grow and nourish you and add to your life. There isn’t a material item on earth that compares. Take a look at one of your average days and see if it’s time to re-arrange a few thing and make sure people get the best part of your day.
4. Run the tank dry! This one is the most fun. Your goal in life should be to cross the finish line with nothing left. Just like those marathon runners who can barely move one foot in front of the other to get to the end of the race, that should be us at the end of our lives. We should have given life every last drop we’ve got. Don’t keep anything in reserve. Don’t slide along trying to make things as easy as you can for yourself. Give and give and when you are exhausted give a little more. Make your goal to be running on fumes as you wrap things up. There’s nothing left – you’ve given it all!
Each day is filled with numerous opportunities to move our lives forward. Whether it’s the chance to make a new friend, the opportunity to help someone move or buy food, or simply shutting off the TV and turning to your spouse and having a 10 minute conversation about something more than the leaky faucet or the grocery list. It’s important to bring your life to a grinding halt from time to time and really take a look at what you’re spending your energy on. You can choose to get up tomorrow morning and change everything for the better, one small step at a time.