“Time is Not Ours to Waste”
In roughly 60 years, if all goes well, I will be lying on a bed, possibly in a hospital, about to die. As I lie there waiting, I will think of all of the things I never got to do, all of the emotions I never got to feel, all of the opportunities I never took advantage of. While I am looking back, tears will begin to run down my cheeks as I regret not living every single minute, every single breath to the fullest. After contemplating this end, I believe that time is not ours to waste, it is ours to live.
In this life, we have so little time to do so much. When we are children, we have dreams of doing everything, from climbing a mountain, to flying a plane, to having our own families. As we grow into our teenage years, our lives become consumed with school and social activities, letting our dreams slowly and silently begin to slip away. By the time we reach adulthood, we are focused on our careers, never looking back to those dreams you had, never thinking about doing the things you’ve longed to do for so many years. Our vision is blurred by our official lives, leaving no time for us. As we move on, the time (and the ability) to do the things we want to do keeps dwindling, silently creeping out of our reach. The sad thing is: you won’t realize what you’ve had until it’s gone.
Let our goal be to avoid this. We need to keep our dreams in sight, remembering that we can do what we want. We need to always bear in mind that the longer we wait, the less time we have to use, to make meaning of. Live as if there was no tomorrow. Stay level headed, but at the same time, keep meaning in your life. Don’t’ be afraid to feel, don’t be afraid to fail. (Be more afraid to succeed, because all it is doing is telling you something you already know.) Live in the day, not in the morrow. Cease every opportunity. In short, live as you, not as someone else.
My challenge for everyone is to be able to die knowing you did at least 50% of the things you truly wanted to do. It seems like a small number, but put it into perspective, and I think almost everyone will fail, but that’s good, because that is how we learn. Life is ours to live, not to waste.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.