Last week I had the opportunity to meet a gentleman who is celebrating his 101st birthday (happy birthday, Maurice)! More than a century on this Earth, and I can’t help but think of the time and experiences he’s had in his lifetime – living literally through eras which I’ve only read about in history books.
Mortality is a subject I’ve been thinking about lately. The whole notion that none of us knows how much time we’re allotted or when we’ll be called away from this Earth certainly provides perspective. And with that mindfulness, there’s new importance and value in each day we do have here.
There was this Oprah quote I used to have hanging in my college dorm that said “Live your best life.” Simple, yet profound words. How easy to say, even though the reality is often entirely different. I have days (more frequently than I’d like to admit), where I get discouraged and feel down. Everyone does. It’s normal. The key is to not let your mind linger on that negativity, and also, to stop looking in and start looking out.
Other ways to make the most of right now and the time we do have?
Learn to be comfortable on your own path. Comfortable doesn’t mean lazy. This just means being secure as the individual God made you to be. You are a unique creation, and you should celebrate this. So many people waste precious time copying others or trying to imitate favourite “celebrities” that they miss out on being the coolest person they can be. Accept, and challenge your own self.
Go to bed wiser than when you woke up. This nugget of wisdom has been attributed to several “successful” entrepreneurs, and while it might seem silly to some, it’s such great advice. A strong woman once told me that I should step outside the box and do one thing that I dread or find intimidating – Every. Day. And this is not only über-challenging, but completely sound advice. Think about it – what are the days when you feel most accomplished? These aren’t the days when you drag your feet; the days you’ve made a difference are the days you’ve put yourself out there and done some impactful work.
Grow some courage and go for it. This is waaay easier said and written than it is to actually do. Truth! I struggle with this at least once a week. “What if I say this and someone thinks it’s a crappy idea?” “What if no one understands where I’m coming from?” Develop the courage to not care what others think, and develop the courage to take risks. As entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore says, “Courage does not grow on its own. Just like a muscle, it must be constantly worked out and developed.” See also this quote from living legend surfer dude Laird Hamilton, who says “We are each our own greatest inhibitor. People don’t want to do new things if they’re going to be bad at them or people are going to laugh at them. You have to be willing to subject yourself to failure, to be bad, to fall on your head and do it again, and try stuff that you’ve never done in order to be the best you can be.”
We’re not all guaranteed 101 years of life. There is no better time than now to live!