Life Lessons in a Commercial

Joseph - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on November 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
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This I believe. People, who take advantage of every moment of their lives, live happy, fulfilled, and productive lives. I believe that this moment, is the greatest of my life.

It was a hot summer day leading to my senior year. My team and I were practicing football for my high school in an outskirt town of Columbus, Ohio. We were preparing for the first game of the season against our rivals. About half way through the methodical drills the coach called us all over to a shade tree close to the field and told us to “pop off your lids”. As we re-hydrated, he began to give us some words of wisdom. Our usually rowdy group was too drained to create any combative background noise. The coach ceased this rare moment and got right to the point. He told us that every day that we are out on the field, “…we are getting a bit better, or we are getting a bit worse; we never stay at the same skill level.” He asked us, “So today, did we get better, or worse?” He did not wait for our answer, letting us marinade in the answer that we all knew. We were going to lose this game, and if we were not so lazy, perhaps we could have won. This was a moment of formation, creating for me a new appreciation for each moment of my life.

Later that week we received four quarters of a pounding. I realized, as we left the gridiron that Friday night, solidifying this concept as a long term value, I did not want to live my life thinking on the future, or remembering the past. Rather, I wanted to set myself up for success in the future by taking advantage of every moment of my life.

Most of us would change much of our past if we had the power. Perhaps I would have been more studious in high school. I most certainly would have been a better friend, to my friend who unexpectedly passed away of an unknown tumor. What makes events like this one so unbearably painful for us? Although it sounds noble for me to blame my pain on the loss of my friend, much of this pain comes from knowing that I was selfish while he was alive, and did not utilize my time that I was given. Abe’s death did not have to be so painful for me.

I enjoy thinking on what would come if I used every moment of every day to its fullest potential. What kind of happiness and success would I find myself living in? What kind of relationships would I develop?

Reflecting on the happiest moments of my life, I have a small glimmer of happiness. The glimmer is nice, but I do not want that small glimmer; rather, I would like to live new moments of enrichment and happiness. I will, in this moment, as it is the greatest moment of my life, reflect less, and act more.

A reminder for me to apply this to my life is seen in a cell phone commercial. “Are this month’s minutes better than last months?” Or perhaps even more applicable to this situation, are last months or next months minutes better than the ones you are using right now? It is no accident that we call the moment that we live in; the present. I will use this gift.