“Life is short!”
These three words were the unanimous answer of respondents (aged 70 to 100 and above) in a survey, when asked – “What are the most important lessons you have learned over your life?”
“Life is short,” a retired engineer told the researcher. “It passes in a nanosecond.”
A 99-year-old woman said, “I don’t know what happened, but the next thing you know you are 100.”
Well, this research study was forwarded to me recently by a friend, and it led me to write this post on lessons on how to live life.
Being all of 34, I am no expert in doling out any advice on “living” life, so I won’t venture out doing that.
All I want to reiterate is what the elderly in the survey advice as far as living a happy life is concerned.
What’s their advice?
Here are 10 that I have culled out from the site dedicated to this project, called The Legacy Project…
- Follow your heart, plan ahead, never look back with regret, give it your all, not take life too seriously, try everything — you only go around once.
- Take time to replenish yourself – sleep, quiet time, music, reading, enjoying nature. It’s difficult to keep going when you are running on empty.
- Learn from your elders while they are still here.
- You could be very happy with almost nothing if you had a loving family, and you weren’t competing with a lot of other people who had more than you did.
- Be ready to tell this to yourself soon – “Enough is enough!” Time spent earning enough money is time reasonably well spent. Time earning an excess of money far beyond that required to meet one’s needs, however, is time wasted.
- Accumulating stuff is of little importance. What is important is accumulating love of each other, of your children and of life-long friends and extending that love to those less fortunate than you are.
- Life is short, so find work you love. Work ought to be chosen for its intrinsic value, and for its sense of enjoyment, sense of purpose. Life is much too short to spend doing something you don’t like, even for a few years.
- Focus on gratitude and giving thanks.
- Take each day and live it, love it – it might be your very last day here.
Life is short
It’s ironical that it often takes us a lifetime to learn to live in the moment.
We seem to think that we’ll live forever.
We spend time and money as though we’ll always be here.
We buy stuff as though it matters and is worth the debt and stress of attachment.
We put off “living happily ever after” for another year, because we assume we have another year.
We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow.
And then, we fear. Oh yes, we fear!
Just because we are afraid of the risk of moving out of our comfort zones, we stick it out in miserable jobs and situations.
Just because we are worried we will fail, we don’t reach high enough or far enough, often forgetting that it’s better to fail spectacularly while trying than it is to succeed at something we never really wanted in the first place.
These three words – life is short – are what I tell myself almost each passing day, and they have changed the way I live my life.
And since, life really is short, let me not waste another moment and thank you for being here for me.
I am amazed that that I found you in this life.