To truly want something and take no action is the ultimate injustice to oneself.
Yep, I just came up with that right now.
Two years ago today I lost a very close friend. Our time on this planet is finite. Maybe I’m thinking about that a little more than usual at the moment. But the truth is I’ve always sort of thought this way.
I think deep down everyone knows that someday their time will be up- but very few people act like it. Want something that provokes action? Print off this image from waitbutwhy.com of a 90-year life in weeks.
Begin to cross off the weeks and you can’t help but realize “Holy shit.”
Time is the most valuable thing we have. Can’t trade for more, can’t get it back.
I would argue that relationships are second. I’m not perfect when it comes to this. For me, part of living in the moment as much as I can means that I have a hard time maintaining relationships with people that I don’t see regularly.
Part of me wishes I lived closer to my family, and I had a good conversation with my parents over the phone about this just last week. The weekend prior, Lacey and I were out in Toronto. It was late at night…probably close to 2am? I’m not sure. The bottles of red wine may have caused me to lose track of time. Probably the tequila as well…
Anyway, we’re sitting in an empty lobby of the Fairmont Royal York talking, and this conversation came up. I had heard on a podcast earlier in the week that once someone moves away from home, on average over 93% of parental contact has already occurred. When I heard this on the podcast it was obviously something I noted, and thought “hmm. Yeah that’s probably true!” When I actually said the words out load to my wife- I got to the last syllable and just started crying. Totally caught me off guard. Again, the wine and tequila probably played a factor…but still, I’m not a crier. I could lose a finger or two and still count on one hand the amount of times that’s happened in the last 10 years.
Before I went to bed I texted my parents and told them just enough of the story that they’d need to hear the rest. I knew if I didn’t do that in the moment I probably wouldn’t tell them at all.
My dad told me that when I left it took him over six months to come to terms with waking up and not having me around. And I remember the look on my Mom’s face when she dropped me off at football camp in August 2003.
I could have just said “Hey, we should try to get together a little more often”, but I doubt it would have the same effect. Being vulnerable at times is okay. Actually, I think it’s part of being human, and keeps us humble and connected to others.
I think what often holds us back from things we want is the idea of being vulnerable. Learning new things may require looking silly, being treated like a rookie, or perhaps feeling a little too exposed. But if you want to grow, there isn’t really another way.
What I really want to say sometimes is “Quit being fucking scared and live your life.”
Think back to that image up top. You don’t have TIME to be scared. You don’t have TIME to not go after the things you want.
I’ve sent this photo out to half a dozen people over the last month that have either asked for advice or my opinion before putting themselves out there, or came to me after the fact to express how vulnerable they felt doing it.
I urge you to every now and then do something that puts you in this position. Don’t necessarily go looking- but if there’s something in the back of your mind that you’ve been thinking about while reading this- there is your cue.
As always, thanks for reading and share your thoughts.