Most of us live our lives like we would be alive forever, but the truth is that we are all living on borrowed limited time. The Buddha once said that the challenge is that we think we have time. When we hear someone DIE especially if they are young, like Kobe Bryant or Chadwick Boseman, we reflect for a minute about how short life is and how one needs to have a sense of urgency. Still, that reflection does not usually last for many of us as we go back to our lives of quiet desperation.
We continue to perform for the world as we have always done in most of our adult life, spend 4-5 years of our lives studying a course we are not passionate about and would not use for work eventually, we eventually get a job we are not excited about, and we keep jumping from one job to the other with perks such as promotions, health and dental benefits, salary to pay for our mortgage and hence we do not follow our bliss. We give a shit about what people think about us and edit our performance for their validation; what would my family members say or think? How would my co-workers look at me? How would the social media platforms algorithms validate this?
When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking about you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you.
When you’re 60, you realize that nobody has been thinking about you at all!
We say to ourselves, I would start the business when I have gathered enough money, start traveling when the kids leave the house, volunteer for great initiatives when I retire, and read more books when I leave paid employment. It follows the same pattern: Someday, I’ll...When I get here, I will do this.
We all start the day with the same amount of time: 86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, 24 hours. The billionaire, the homeless, the politician, the celebrity, the entrepreneur, and the 9-5er. We all start the same way but what determines how successful we become is our use of time, which invariably determines our decision making, choices, and routine. Imagine your time like a bank account with credits of $86,400 each morning, and it is carried over no balance from day-to-day.
Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance.
It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today
In his very thought-provoking 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, advised that we find what we love to do and live every day like it could be our last as our time here is limited:
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
We are all on a journey in this world and having a sense of urgency can not be overemphasized cos Life is very short. Most of us do not understand this very profound message of life until we lose a loved one, escape a ghastly motor accident, survive a terminal diagnosis, or endure a boiling point moment. Depending on which part of the world you are in, let’s use the USA as a reference country which has a life expectancy of 79 years.
We spend at least one third of our lives sleeping, and spend another one third of that working. After spending 2/3rd of our lives working and sleeping. After factoring in grooming, schooling, commuting, gossiping, watching TV, Social Media, Whatsapp, we have just like 10 years left to be really productive and try to leave a legacy in the world.
The moment you realize that your time here is limited, you begin to re-order your priorities. Instead of viewing 90 minutes of soccer, you view the highlights instead, most times; it does not feel like the time is much, but when you add 4 hours of viewing premier league soccer, midweek and weekends; it eventually adds up that is 200 hours (8-10 days) of soccer per year, in 36 years, you would have used one year of your precious life to view soccer.
Your time here is limited, don’t waste it performing for others, follow your bliss, have fun, get things done, be remarkable, exceptional and leave a legacy in the process.
All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.