Life is Short and Tomorrow is Unknown
I have always thought I had an infinite amount of time to spend in this world.
But wait a minute.
I turned 20.
Then like the world wanted to get a message across to me I turned 21.
So, I thought to myself, If I was twenty and now I am twenty-one, does it mean that I can turn 22 then 23 then 24 then 25 then 30 and then everyone including my mum who always gave me advice and told me to avoid girls is asking to see my girlfriend, then forty then 70 and then 90 and then maybe 100 and then I fucking die.
So, I thought to myself, dude you have got to start taking your life seriously, you have got to start living your life now or otherwise it will pass you.
All of it.
So, I grabbed a calculator and decided to do some math.
The average human being has an average life expectancy of seventy years, and that is the human being who is living in a country such as the US where probability of being gunned down by an Al-Shabaab militia is very low.
If you are living in Pakistan where Muslim people killing each other as a ticket to happy eternal life in heaven, then you can see that life expectancy dropping down to the very minimum.
So, seventy years is an equivalent of how many days?
70 years = (70 * 365) days = 25,550days
If you are a normal human being who reads this kind of article, I will have to assume that you are way of your teenage years.
Because if my guess is right, all that teenagers want to read is their friends tweets and watch cat videos on Facebook and YouTube.
I will take a rough estimation of you being 25years old. I know some of my readers are a bit older, but hang on, I will use 25 years to drive my point home, cool?
For the normal 25-year-old person those are how many days that you have already spent?
25 years = (25 * 365) days = 9, 125days
That is nine thousand, one hundred and fucking twenty-five days already gone.
You can never see these days again.
They are spent.
Now, let us see how many days you are left with here:
Days left = 25550–9125 =16, 425 days
That is what you have got left for you to live on.
The rest is gone.
Gone for good.
So, what are you gonna do with the remaining number of days?
Are you gonna stay stuck in that job that you feel stuck already and you don’t even feel like it fulfills you so that you can go home grab your remote and watch TV for the rest of the night?
Writing this kind of reminds me of Steve Jobs quotes:
- “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living someone else’s life.”
- “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”
- “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown you’re your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
- “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” and whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
- “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to do what you believe is great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.”
- “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
- “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
- Right now, the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”
Steve jobs is dead right now.
See what I am talking about?
The hard truth about life being short.
If there is something that I love about Steve Jobs is his way with words. Damn, leave alone his way with words, I think he had his way with everything.
Didn’t he just build apple from a garage to what it is today?
What people do is that they are taught to be followers since a really young age.
“Do everything I say,” the dad will shout.
“Why dad?” the kid may ask.
“Because I said so!” the dad will reply.
When Kids are big enough to go to school, they will be taught to follow and do each and everything that the teach writes on the board or else, they are gonna fail in the exams.
So, the teacher said that 1 + 1 = 2 and that is what it’s always gonna be, I used to ask myself, why can’t 1 + 1 = 11?
But there was no way to ask that or I was gonna get laughed at by all the other kids for being “stupid”
This mentality of always being a follower and being trained that we need to always follow rules.
I think this suffocates us kind of and leaves us so preoccupied doing what other people expect of us such that we don’t even realize that our lives are passing. When we finally manage to wake up we are already running out of time.
“Go to primary school!” your dad and mom yells.
“Okay mum,” you reply silently and then head to primary school where you spend your time for eight years being taught what someone else thinks that you should know, not what you yourself want to know.
After you are done with primary school, you are supposed to go to high school and then after high school, you need to go to college, get a job, get married, take a huge mortgage loan and buy a big ass house, get kids, take credit card loan so that you can buy a lot of stuff you don’t need in order to impress your neighbors who thought that they were cooler than you and before you know it, your life is gone.
But, what do we do to change all this?
1. Stop Living to Please Everyone Else Who is Not You
Yes, I said it.
Even before I made any move in my life, I always used to think, what will my dad think about me doing this? What will my mum think about me doing this?
Then it dawned on me.
I am neither my dad nor my mum.
Yes, they gave birth to me, yes, they have taken care of me since I was a little kid and pooping everywhere until now, but, wait a minute, I think one of my favorite authors might put it better:
- “There is an expiration date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the steering wheel, responsibility lies with you.” — JK ROWLING
And so, I thought to myself, I am a mature human being who can take responsibility for all his actions, why do I have to think about other peoples’ happiness when I am about to do something that is supposed to make me happy?
So, I stopped.
Among the 5 major regrets that dying people have, one of them is:
“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2. Go After What You Want
Give it your all. Steve Jobs already said it. Hold on a minute, let me repeat it here:
- “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — STEVE JOBS
It does not matter what you want. You can always achieve what you want as long as you are alive.
But there is a hindsight to that.
To get what you need, you have got to be prepared to face all the odds and work real hard.
The odds include:
- Sleepless nights
- Being lonely
- Have to sleep on a bench in the park because you got nowhere else to sleep
- A lot of failure initially
Don’t be deterred by this.
Be deterred by the fact that you can be on your death bed and looking behind in your whole life regretting everything that you have never done in order to get close to your dreams.
3. Tomorrow Has Not Yet Arrived, Live Today, Leave Tomorrow Alone
Yes, you know that feeling.
The feeling of always thinking about tomorrow.
And when tomorrow arrives and it becomes today, you start thinking about the next tomorrow.
When are you gonna live.
You can only have this moment right here.
Right now, is all that is guaranteed.
You can fail to live today and make plans all day for tomorrow so that you can live tomorrow and then the first thing that happens to when tomorrow comes, you get hit by a car and then you fucking die.
Please note: I am not discouraging you people from making plans for the next day, I do it all the time. What I am discouraging is failing to live in the moment.
4. Don’t Follow a Path Because Everyone is Following it
Yeah, you don’t want to miss all your blessings following other people on path since it is what everyone believes that it will lead to success.
Don’t get married because you have to. Get married because you want to.
Follow your own path.
People do not have to understand you. Remember this quote:
- “Here is to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they are not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing that you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who usually do.”
Don’t listen to them when they make bad comments about you being too crazy or stuff like that. Here is what Steve Jobs had to say:
- “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown you’re your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs
5. Take Time Off and Relax Every Once in A While
Among the 5 major regrets that dying people have, one of them is:
“I wish I never worked so hard.”
So, take time just to enjoy yourself.
Go to the bar and hang out with friends.
Play football if you like football.
Don’t die with this regret.
6. Don’t Hide Your Feelings, Let it All Out
Among the top five regrets of the dying here is another one:
“I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”
Do you love someone but you aren’t telling them already?
Well, quit screwing around, walk up to them and tell them.
It will save a life.
I am no perfect in any way and I screw up all the time.
But I am working real hard to make sure that I do better.
So what are you waiting for? Go live your life like it means something to you.
Thank you for reading.
And please, do share on your social media.