Live Trying or Dying?

Dear Guys,

I am duplicating this post to tolivehappily.wordpress.com. Reading there would help me a lot 🙂

A few weeks ago, I had a talk with a friend over small matters, the likes of what our next milestone is, what we want to have at certain age, how we are going to achieve those, how our condition is limiting us in pursuing our goals, etc.

One of the questions my friend said was this:

“You are diving. You know you have only 5 more minutes before you run out of oxygen. There are treasures you’ve spent decades looking for in about 4 minutes down from where you are. At the opposite direction lies the air, about 5 minutes from where you are. What would you do?”

My initial response would favour going to get the treasures, that I live for that, that I would die trying. Why would we abandon the thing we’ve looked for for so long when it’s already in front of us?

However, reflecting to the life of others and my own, there have been many examples where humans fall, get up, fall again, and get up again before finally reaching their goals / dreams – many even go through it countless time. Doesn’t that mean we could choose to reach for air, then to refill our oxygen tank, get bigger one, or even consider having submarine to go for another shot, better shot, in reaching for the treasures of our life?

So, I think my answer is a bit smart now, eh? But.. what if 1 shot is all we got, that if we choose to get out, we would never be able to go back?

I don’t know. I don’t know the correct answer to that, but I think we should look really well into ourselves and ask how bad we want it. Asking ourselves “What are the 3 most important things I want to do, given the condition that I only have 1 more year to live?” might help.

Great. But, what if we are actually not really sure if we want it? Perhaps we start to think that we might have wanted it since it’s the norm, everybody else is doing it, we are brought up to believe in that, and so on.

To get over that, we could reflect (be mindful of our own thought) and seek for feedback from people who care about us (covered in Stop and be still!). We can argue that as rocks being shaped by the constant change of weather, opinions formed might be due to the environment, which means even our own thought might not be “objective”, but isn’t that what matters? That we have taken into account our real goals or dreams instead not other’s.

In the opening note from Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, he mentions that there are 4 obstacles keeping us from our own dream. The first one is prejudice, the way we were brought up plays a part in this. The second is love, or to be exact, the incorrect view of love. The third is our fear of defeats. The last is our fear of realizing the dream for which we have been fighting all our lives, the guilt that we think we deserve that dream, the lack of our self-worth.
Now, how many times have we surrendered to the conditions we are in and just followed blindly even if we didn’t feel ‘right’? How many times have we fought back and stood our ground?

We only live once. We do not want to waste it by doing something most people (adult mostly?) think is silly or useless. Yet, isn’t not-following our own original voice the biggest waste, that we live a life we are not in-sync with it? It would have been better to fall times and times again in our own life, the one we choose, the one we live with no regret.

Quoting from a Toast Master session,

“Looking at the burial ground, there are not only bodies inside, but also life not lived, songs unsung, words unspoken, trips not taken. So, Start Now, Start Small, and Start Again.”

Let’s live together with no regret. Shall we?

My 20-minute take on daily life

A dozens of activities need to be done in work, personal, and also social life. But, how do we prioritize? How do we manage our schedule into our limited and valuable time?

From those three areas mentioned above, I would say that our work life will take most of our time. We need to attend to our work needs, to fulfill our responsibilities and to ensure that we learn something from it. Personally, I would also say that we attend to our work to help others’ tasks. However, it would not only be 9-to-5-Monday-to-Friday routine. It might also be what we do spending our time in the evening / morning, preparing for our day to come. From the 16 hours most of us spend awake, it is already more than 50%.

We attend to our personal life because we, simply put, are people. We have our personal goals in life, either about our health, our family, our environment, our career, our ambitions, or even our legacy. Fortunately, for us who are doing our passion as our work, then it also means we are preparing for our personal life to be better in our career, for our family, for our environment, and / or for our ambitions/legacy. Aside from that, we also would need to be hugging our families, telephoning our parents / siblings / children if they live far away. We might also need to get on our swimming suits, our jogging shoes, or hitting the gym.

Then, we might have some spare time to tune in to our social circle and the social media. We spend time hanging out with friends, catching up with others, following on what others’ are currently interested in, ‘updating’ ourselves. We want to be connected, physically and/or emotionally. After all, we are social beings, living not only on ourselves but also on others’.

Now, how should we prioritize and manage our life, so we do not miss on all the areas? There is no one-fits-all formula for us as we are people with different values, of different cultures and hobbies. What we should always remind ourselves is that we must not lose ourselves in the life. We must remember what we genuinely want to do in life, for ourselves and hopefully for the world around us. As Einstein put it, “Life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.”

No Regret

“… They say just grow up, but they don’t know us. We don’t give a f**k, and we’re never gonna change …” This part of Avril Lavigne song is still playing in my head..

The lyrics reminds me of the times I had not pushed myself enough to pass through the voices, the voices in my mind that were built from the experiences I’ve had (read my previous post: Stop and Be Still).

How many times have you surrendered to the conditions you are in, to follow the environment even if you don’t feel right? How many times have you fought back and stand your ground?

We only live once. Of course we do not want to waste it by doing something most people (or more adult) think is silly/useless. But, isn’t not-following our own original voice the biggest waste, that we live that life although we are not in-sync with it? It would have been better to fall times and times again in our own life, the one we choose, the one we live with no regret.

So, be BOLD, do what your heart asks you to do. Be your true best-self. Let’s live together with no regret!