We have very little time in this world – a fact that I, myself, often choose to forget. When you’re young, it seems as if you have an eternity ahead of you, all the time you could possibly need to do all the things you ever dreamt of doing.
As time continues barreling on, we soon become privy to how little we accomplish with the time that is allotted to us. Days, weeks, months and then years seem to float on by with rapidly increasing succession.
We allow ourselves to get lost in moments, aiming to experience life to the fullest, not considering that doing so expedites the process itself. Time management is probably the most valuable skill in the world. Unfortunately, very few utilize it efficiently.
We spend too much time in our lives doing the things that we shouldn’t be doing, spending time with people we shouldn’t have let into our lives in the first place, and focusing our energies on things unworthy of such dedication.
We all do it. Some of us have enough control to minimize the waste we produce, while most lose themselves in their own unique concoction of unhealthy habits, misguided beliefs and thoughtless action.
We do because we believe that we must continue doing in order to continue living. It’s as if we fear slowing down will cause our lungs to collapse and us to rot away along with forgotten history.
I often question whether human beings were ever meant to be truly efficient, if we are even capable of a life that isn’t primarily wasteful.
I start to question the purpose of it all, whether we are actually meant to aim for the ideal, knowing that we will never reach perfect, or if we are to, instead, overindulge ourselves in all the little treats that life has to offer.
Do we have a purpose that goes beyond cheap gratification and the feeding of our ever-growing egos?
I have to believe that we choose how we wish to answer such questions. I have to believe that we decide what we should do with our lives and how they should best be lived.
But then how do you differentiate between right and wrong – a better and worse way of living?
If it is possible to live a life better or worse than another, then there must be a differentiation between right and wrong, good and bad.
What ends up happening is that we struggle with such questions along our journey, answering them the best we can and continuously tweaking our beliefs and methods along the way.
By trial and error, we come to narrow down what we believe works for us and what doesn’t. We experience life a little more every day, and with that novel experience, we continue to add to our database of knowledge.
There is really only one tactic worth applying. Because, when you get to the minutia of it all, making the ideal decision every single time – although not actually impossible – is statistically impossible.
We learn from our mistakes, and that is really the only way that we learn. What we must be wary of are the moments when we find ourselves in positions when we no longer make mistakes, when we no longer have things to learn.
When you find yourself in such a position, it’s a sign that it’s time to quit and do something new.
To live is to learn because when you stop learning, you stop processing information worthy of your intellect. With life being filled with endless possibilities, we should never allow ourselves to be found in such a compromising position.
Nevertheless, we often find ourselves doing things that we shouldn’t be doing – things that we never should have started doing in the first place. Why? Because we got good at doing it and now feel compelled to continue.
Many of the decisions we make in our lives are meant to be tentative. However, as time passes and our focus is reassigned to other areas of interest, we sink into a sort of autopilot.
We hammer away at the same set of steel over and over again, no longer making progress, but instead denting what was, at one point, finished.
We miss the moment that we should have let go, that we should have moved on and started something new, and find ourselves stuck in a routine that we loathe. People find themselves in miserable situations all the time.
The funny thing is that such situations rarely come on like food poisoning, but rather like a slow-rising fever. One day you find yourself feeling sick, sweaty and nauseated and you don’t know how or why.
We have very little time in this world, and most of us will sadly wake up one day, look back at our lives, and hold back the tears from running down our faces.
We will wake up realizing that we have very little purpose and that our life’s work has amounted to little more than that of a machine’s, continuously producing with little thought and potentially no purpose.
You cannot allow yourself to get good at doing the things that you don’t want to be doing. You cannot allow yourself to live a life, if even for a short year, in a way that you don’t want to be living it.
Whether your life is pointless is up for debate, but what your life means to you is something that no one can take away from you. It is, however, something that can easily be ruined.
Don’t let it be ruined by your own hand.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Joel Sossa