We all feel down sometimes. Stuff happens. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. We feel all the feels, sometimes for a reason and sometimes for no good reason at all. Moments like that, as random as they are, have the potential to carry some pretty interesting realisations. My life’s latest curveball had me re-thinking one of the most basic realisations in life – time is limited.
Time is limited
There are moments in life where one gets confronted with the fact that everything is temporally and that life is finite. Even though we all know it, I feel that it rarely ever plays a role until one reaches a reminder of these simple truths.
We don’t have limitless time and in a way, I believe it is a good thing to reflect on this every now and again. Yes, time flies by. Everyone tells us so when we are younger, but we have to get older until we experience it for ourselves: The older we get, the more time speeds up. And if I came to that realization in my thirties, then what is it going to feel like in another two or three decades?!
A reminder of our limited time might be birthdays, the passing of a loved one, an illness, starting a new life chapter or a million other things that drag the passing of time into the light of our attention.
The illness of a loved one is what brought the concept of finiteness to my attention once more and got me to sit down and reflect. Life-changing milestones will come. And sometimes they are sad. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing good, such as a new insight into life, can come off them. The real question is how we deal with them. I have decided to deal with them, with everything, by wholeheartedly honouring life.
Honour life. Honour being alive.
To me, this means filling my life with the things and the people I love and going after a life that feels fulfilled and aligned with my values and believes. I am aware of how privileged I am to be able to have this vision in mind as I shape my life. Being able to pursue a life in line with my values is an ultimate privilege and I am not intending to waste any of it or anything of what I was given. I will honour life – not only my life but the lives of others, life in general, being alive, being.
What a fulfilled life is will look different for everybody. You do you, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else and as long as it gives you the feeling your life choices reflect gratefulness for your and everybody else’s existence.
I am beyond grateful for how my life panned out so far, for all the things I achieved, everything I have and all the things that I was given. I am constantly amazed what an attitude of gratefulness can do and how it has an impact on every area of life; happiness, productivity, mental health, relationships, a simplified life and many, many more.
I am enough, you are enough
From that mindset of gratefulness for what is, I will honour life through striving for the things I’d like to see happening. I want to make sure that I feel that I spend my lifetime in the best and most meaningful way possible, I don’t want to feel like I waste any of it, I want to live it intentionally and with purpose.
Sidenote: Time that you enjoy wasting is not wasted time! This is not meant to be a call to hustle for the most epic achievements in life every waking second. Achievement is a word that can mean all sorts of different things and again, it is up to each and every individual to determine what an achievement is and which goals in life are worth striving for. Sometimes being grateful for what is and flowing with what’s to come is an achievement. Sometimes hustling for a bigger goal is the achievement. And everything in between.
However, achievements are not needed to have a full and worthy life. Everybody, as long as they don’t harm anyone else, is already enough. I am enough. You are enough. Our lives are enough. Just as they are. We do not need to achieve specific goals or hit certain milestones for our lives to be good lives, for us to be worthy. We already are. Everything else we make happen is a bonus. We are not achieving for the sake of the achievement. We are striving towards our goals because they are reflecting our core values, what we want to be like and what we want to stand for thus, honouring our lives by appreciating what we have and by pursuing what makes us full and happy.
Dare to be different
Dare to be different in your goal setting. Only you know what a happy and meaningful life is for you. You might not know it now, but you can find out through experimenting. And if that means going after things that are unusual, that no one is expecting of you or that are different than the standard path in life that is portrayed to be the route to happiness – do it! You do you and the steps you take will carry you through life towards the ultimate achievement: Happiness, meaning, fulfilment, growth. What a luxury that is!
The ultimate goal
Does this exist? Is there ever an end to the journey towards the ultimate goal? I don’t believe so. To me, it feels very much like a process and ever evolving. A balance between powering through for the things that you want and floating with life to see where it carries you, consciously and intentionally.
Live your life to the best of your abilities and as best as you can. Flow with what is, strive for what shall be and do it with intention, kindness and purpose. Don’t waste the life that you were given and live with your unique grain rather than against it. Don’t expect life to be something, question your expectations, review your path and your goals. Change perspective. Be.
This is my pledge. In the face of finiteness, illness and the inevitable end of all things, this is what I want to apply to every step I take in life. To become more present, to achieve being as grateful as I can be and, ultimately, to honour the single most intense adventure there is for as long as I’m on it: Being alive.
One more thing before you go: I am fully aware that I am writing these reflections out of a very privileged perspective. Some of these concepts may widely apply, some might not. For some people, there might be more pressing priorities. This is my life situation and my pledge. Please apply everything you read here to your own as much as it fits. And if you want to take the time, read more about my stand on writing out of privilege here (soon). Thank you.