I’m a paradox. Sometimes I’m a conflicted contraction. I say things, and yet I still find myself failing to act upon my words – I guess that’s all part of life’s huge learning curve, but day by day I find myself growing and becoming more courageous than ever.
I’ve had a massive wake up call. I know that we aren’t invincible. We don’t live forever. We only have one life to do absolutely everything, and this is why we all need to act accordingly, basically we need to get our shit together!
It’s in a tragedy that sometimes we discover our life’s purpose. Sometimes our eyes need to shed a few tears to bring about alignment and more focus. And it’s through that fog of tears that fulfillment transpires – the actual writing of my words usually comes in the form of realisation – I can’t contrive my feelings.
Catastrophic and heartbreaking circumstances force us to acknowledge that life is way too short. We often mutter the words “life’s too short”, but honestly, how often do we act on them? I know for certain, although I’d love to state otherwise, that I too am also guilty.
The truth is, we should never waste a moment. Yeah, life can be utterly crap sometimes. It can throw massive curve balls our way, but that’s all part and parcel of the journey.
YOLO…we’ve heard it and we know what it stands for – You Only Live Once. Over the last year or so, this acronym has gained mass appeal, especially amongst kids and social media.
As a teacher of High School students, I’ve noticed that people use YOLO to style their carefree attitudes or in some cases to justify their ostensible irrational decisions. YOLO has been somewhat misconstrued. It’s got nothing to do with hedonism…and it doesn’t give anyone the license to do stupid shit, hurt others and themselves, and waste their time.
The YOLO concept has absolutely zero to do with going out to bars getting smashed, having one-night stands, doing all sorts of weird and wonderful drugs and not remembering anything the next day…this is what we call ‘being reckless’ and this is what I try to instill in my kids at school. Instead YOLO is about going out there and doing things and being with people who really matter!
The thing is, without the risk of sounding too cliché, life is way too short and you just never know what’s around the corner. It’s way too short to wake up every day with those regrets that weigh us down. It’s way too short to hold grudges against those who’ve wronged us. It’s way too short to be bitter. It’s way too short to resent. It’s just way too short…I’d much prefer to look back on my life and say to myself “Oh my God, I can’t believe I actually did that” as opposed to “I wish I’d done that”.
I know exactly what he’d say to me right now: “Hey, come on, let’s go have some fun.” “Let’s go on an adventure!” “Why do we need to plan? Let’s do it!” “Why are you so worried?” “Stop being sad!”
And he’d be so damn right!
Our biggest problem is that we all believe that we’re these crazy superhero-like characters that are indestructible – we all believe we have time…
Instead of being frightened and vexed about possibilities it’s time to take a hold of life and everyone around you with every breath you take. Even if your life’s a glorious mess, embrace it. Even if you can’t see further past tomorrow embrace it. Embrace everything and be fearless, but don’t be reckless.
I’m so tired of cautiously testing the waters. It hasn’t really got me anywhere. In a sense I can be way too guarded. I’m sure this wariness has and is preventing me from doing and receiving great things in my life.
Really, what do I have to lose?
We have one life…
Do What’s Important
Things need to be put into perspective. What’s important? What’s important to me?
It’s easy to live life doing what others may want us to do. It could be your family, your partner, your employers, society in general – they all have their opinions, which of course they’re entitled to, but do their opinions and ideas align with our own?
At the end of the day, the only person who’s ever going to be around for every moment of my life is me, which is why I need to reflect, get a grip and do what makes me happy because in the end, everything else is going to fall into place.
Say I Love You
I love you or I like you or I think you rock can be so difficult to utter sometimes…
Saying I love you to family never goes amiss, the same goes for good friends. But if there’s a person in your life romantically, it can be a lot harder, especially if you’re uncertain about their intentions and feelings. This is something I too need to take heed of – I need to practice what I preach, but I’m going to throw it out there, I say go for it and tell them you care about them.
The power of the words I love you is unfaltering. Fear shouldn’t hold us back. A simple I love you could change everything. Yes, there are a number of ways in which it could all end, some of which might not be ideal, but at the end of the day we don’t have that much to lose…
I want you…I want us!
Live in the Present
Our pasts can impact us in many ways, but more often than not, we allow it to drag us down. Every single person has a past, every single person has some sort of baggage, but it’s those people who decide to leave the worn tatty suitcases at the door who can really move on. Our pasts are important for one reason and one reason only – they act as an important lesson from which we can learn.
Our futures are just as important. We need to work towards them, but we’re often too wrapped up in the anomalies and obstacles that we fail to recognise the present.
Right now the only thing that exists is the present. We need to live for the moment, because everything else that lies ahead is uncertain, so with this, I’m going to search for eternity in every single moment.
No one wants to die wondering ‘what if…?’ And no great things ever came from comfort zones.
I’ve been known to play it extra cautiously in the past. I’ve done it for a variety of reasons…for the fear of failing, not getting the desired result, being rejected, being hurt, and even falling in love (crazy, I know!).
There are so many rewards out there waiting to be had, and every single one carries some form of risk whether it’s big or small. Without taking risks from time to time, we’ll never move forward. I know for certain that I do not want to be that person in 40 years time looking back on my life regretting everything I didn’t do or the chances I didn’t take.
Never Compromise Your Values
My morals are very central to who I am.
In the past I’ve compromised them, mostly to make others happy. I’ve learnt my internal code of ethics is important and should never ever be compromised.
There are many grey areas in life, but if we learn to trust our instincts more, we’ll be okay – I hate it when I have a gut feeling and for some reason or other I don’t go with it, because it’s usually with my first instincts that great things manifest.
Turn Your Back on Haters
Haters are always going to hate. Over the years, I think I’ve got this one sussed!
Haters will hate you because others love you. There are always going to be those covetous people who try and rain on your parade and bring you down no matter what you decide to do with your life and sadly there are some people, who have their own insecurities, who’re always at the ready waiting to point out your every miniscule failure.
All we need to do is look around us and observe those who are truly successful. In most cases they don’t start out successful; they get where they are because they continue to push through those harder more challenging times and failure. If anything, it’s those haters that should motivate us the most; it gives us even more drive. The lesson here is that life’s way too short to put up with other people’s negative bullshit!
Keep an Open Mind
The world and its people are so beautiful, but to really experience it from many perspectives, it’s necessary to keep an open mind. Thing’s aren’t always what they seem and quite often we all look at things in a different way – it doesn’t make us right or wrong. Listen, do not judge, and emphasize.
Keeping an open mind relates to all aspects of life – it relates to new relationships, contracts, travel, conflicts…Being able to see beyond boundaries is a beautiful and rewarding thing…teetering in the unknown can be fabulously wonderful, and it all boils down to living life, taking those necessary risks and of course keeping an open mind; so if you…
Like someone, tell them…
Love someone, tell them…
Want to quit your job, do it…
Want to travel, pack your bags…
Want to take up a course, enroll…
Want to propose, get down on one knee…
Life is passing us by without us even realising. I’m ready to fiercely commit to change and to every single moment, big or small. I’m ready to find the beauty in absolutely everything and everyone, including myself. I’m ready to do this completely and wholeheartedly; I’m ready to commit and to inhabit it.
I’m no longer going to be a slave; I’m going to follow my dreams. Screw the excuses; I’m going for it! Why delay my true 110% happiness and gratification when I can live in the now and create beautiful things?