We are, at least in the modern society, hard-wired to worry. We want security, and minimize risks, and make sure that we don’t end up in trouble. We want to eliminate problems. We want to eliminate unhappiness. We want safety – in every sense of the word. None of that is wrong…as long as it doesn’t prevent you from actually living, from making the best of your life, and your potential. As long as it doesn’t stop you from going after your dreams.
Because it doesn’t matter how many precautions you take, how softly you tread on the carpet of life, there is one single truth that can still disrupt your life in ways you never even imagined. And that single truth is this:
Life is uncertain
Well, duh! It’s not exactly news. We all know it. But how many people actually live their life consciously aware of that knowledge?
As an example, here’s a story I learned recently. I was waiting in my gym for a class to start. But there was another class going on in the studio, so we were just hanging around outside the door, including the instructor. He was talking to a woman who clearly attends his classes regularly, and overhearing that conversation I learned that few months ago he had a heart attack.
Now this is a guy in his thirties (probably early thirties, though I don’t know for sure), very fit and healthy. He has a desk job, and moonlights as a fitness instructor because he loves it. There was no “real” reason for him to have a heart attack. He still doesn’t know why it happened.
Generally, it’s the overweight people, unhealthy people, people with high cholesterol etc. who are warned about the risk of heart attack. This guy was never warned, because by all accounts, he wasn’t at the risk. He is no longer allowed to run outside, because now that he had one heart attack he could have another. He can return to his fitness activities, but he can no longer push himself beyond a certain point because there is the risk of arrhythmia.
It was this conversation that got me thinking about uncertainty. But there are a lot more examples, always at the ready. Sudden illnesses, accidents, wars…so many things beyond our control that have the power to change our lives. Ultimately, there are no guarantees in life. Yes, of course we want some contingencies and plan for obvious disasters, but don’t let safeguarding the future distract you from your today. Because today might be all you have left.
This isn’t news. We are all aware of our mortality, but most people don’t think about it. That’s part of our natural make-up. If we spent too much time thinking about inevitability of death, perhaps we wouldn’t get out of bed. I’m not encouraging morbidity. I’m encouraging you to make the best of your time on earth – however long it may be. Think of it like a vacation – you go to a new country, you’ve got two weeks, you want to see and do everything possible. Life’s a vacation, without a specific deadline. So enjoy. Live. See and do everything you want. Reach for your dreams. Above all…BE ALIVE!
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
What is the one thing that you would love to do but you keep putting it off for one day? Write about that – and figure out why are you not doing it now.