I’ve been watching a lot of Ted Talks of late, on life, bucket lists and living with passion everyday. Almost every talk I came across, is focused on life, but more importantly life before death, or after near death. Several speakers had one thing in common. Most of them had almost died, and the news of their impending, or near-missed death, made them evaluate their life, the choices they made, the career they chose, the lives they lived. As with these speakers, and many others in the world, life begins with death – ironically much! So many stories out there, of the ones who escaped death, and decided to live a life true to themselves, without regrets. And it makes me wonder, should we really wait for a tragedy, a warning sign, a reminder from life that it is indeed temporary, to start living the life we really wish to live?
We walk with buried dreams, hoping for the right time, the right age, the right signs, and the right help, conveniently forgetting that we don’t have forever. Why do we have to wait till it’s our time to go, to look back and evaluate how far we’ve come in life, how far we’d like to go, and if we’re really where we truly want to be. Chase that dream, break that rule, run that marathon, lose that weight, write that book, get on that plane, hug that forgotten friend, forgive that remembered enemy, speak your mind, speak your heart. Social media is full of pleasant sounding quotes and Youtube is full of motivational videos, but from what I’ve learned, nothing can change you, if you change nothing. Don’t wait till the end of your life, to start wishing you should have lived. Take little steps each day, to live the life you wish to, no matter how impossible it seems. Take little steps to fulfill the little dreams. Make mistakes, get humiliated, get laughed at, get ridiculed, fail, be stupid, be foolish, but don’t be the one who didn’t give life a chance. There will always be bills to pay, things to do, expectations to meet, promises to keep, and by all means necessary do them, but in the midst of it all, leave a little space for life, and if it has its way, it will find a way to take more space.
Everytime I find myself in a rut, or a routine, I think to myself, there must be more to life than this, and there sure is. But if I don’t take the first step, how will life meet me midway? Whether your dream is something as big as traveling the world, or something as small as coloring your hair blue, take a step. Don’t wait for your retirement, or the right time, to take the first step, for it turns out, with a life as unpredictable as ours, there are no fixed deadlines. Don’t wait for death, to look back at your life. Do it every now and then, and figure out how far you’ve come, how far you still have to go.
Don’t be that person who gets buried with their dreams. Don’t be that person who needs to see death, to value life. Don’t wait for the end, to wish you had begun!