Life is precious – but many of us, myself included, find ourselves saying the following: I do not have enough time to do xyz. If I only had xyz amount of money I could really do this and that. The list could go on and on.
We all know that life is precious. But many of us fail to recognize how precious it is until tragedy hits. You lose a family member to illness. You get in an accident or experience some other life-altering event – then and only then – we fully embrace the preciousness of life.
I insist that we stop doing this. That we start acknowledging that life is precious, and it is our duty that we live fully each and every day and every opportunity we have.
I also realize that this idea may seem grandiose at times and may make you roll your eyes – but here is the truth – if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, I bet that you would be living your life differently starting right now.
Life is precious…
… but what makes up our life is also precious. How we spend our time is equally precious. Let’s take a deep breath and take away the notion that life is precious, because swallowing that notion can be overwhelming. Instead, let’s focus on how we spend our time.
If we emphasize that our time is precious – then our how we live our life naturally becomes precious and commands respect. When we fail to protect how we spend our time we end up:
- Letting the world and others and their agenda dictate how we go about our days.
- Our dreams, hopes and desires get put on the back burner, and
- We live our life haphazardly.
But when we request more agency over our time, we in turn receive:
- The space to explore new ideas, dreams, and how we want to live our lives.
- Room to grow relationships, existing and new ones, and create new and meaningful connections, and
- Have the opportunity to inspire others to do the same.
I have been in situations in my life where I felt completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with all the should-of, would-of, could-of’s on my plate; not to mention all the things on my ever growing to-do list. But something changed when I read this simple quote:
“Look at your calendar and see if it reflects the life you want to have. How you spend your time is your life.” – Hendry Cloud
I remember reading this quote and being smacked with a hard dose of reality. How I spend my time is essentially my life? Ouch. I knew I had to change how I spent my time that very instant.
I took out my calendar and my to-do list and got rid of all the things I did not want to be spending my time doing. Things that were essentially unimportant and things that would not get me to where I was going in life.
Life is precious, and we end up getting so wrapped up in our to-do lists, obligations from our workplace and social circles, to end up feeling exhausted and maybe a tad bit bitter at the end of the day.
But we do not have to live life like this. We do not have to wait until we receive grave news or experience some other life-altering event to start living our life like we are going to die tomorrow. There is no need to wait – the only thing we have right now – is now.
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Just think of life like your breath. Your breath does not exist in the past, that has already come and gone, your breath does not live in the future, it has not happened. But instead, your breath serves its purpose right here and right now and nothing else in mind.
Apply the same principal to your life. Here are four ways you can start living your life with fierce purpose right now:
1. Prioritize fun
You do not have to wait until you reach the weekend or have vacation time. Why delay the pleasure of laughter? Find something every single day that makes you laugh out loud when you are by yourself. Have a certain genre of reading materials that make you let out a giggle? Read them.
Have a friend that makes you laugh each time you spend time with them? Call them up. Maybe even doing a little dance by yourself makes you laugh! Whatever it is is – do it more often. Life is better when you are laughing more often!
2. Be unapologetically you
One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they wished they worried less. And I am sure much of that worry was about other people. Pleasing others, trying to fit in and so on. There is only one of you and yes, this sounds cliche, but I will say it: The world needs you because we only have one of you.
3. Spend time doing what matters the most to you
If spending time with your family and friends means the world to you – make time to do it each day. Yes, we are all busy, but we can carve out time to make a phone call or have coffee. You get to dictate how you spend your time more than you realize.
4. Make space for rest
This may seem to the contrary of what I have been stating this entire article, however, if you are exhausted – then you cannot fully function. Rest can come in the forms of taking slow and deliberate sips of tea on your lunch break and only doing that. It can also come in the form of practicing meditation for clarity. Rest looks unique for each of us.
Rob Bell said, “It often takes suffering and lost in order to remind us of how precious life is.” I do not want you or anyone else to experience the above. We can avoid this by accepting the reality that life is precious, and our time here is a gift. With all of that said – go out and live your life with fierce tenacity.