What would you do today if you found out your days were numbered?
Not that you knew the exact date you will take your last breath, but that you have less time than you thought.
What would you change?
What would you do differently?
The opposite to these questions is a feeling of someday or I will get around to that later.
What if there is no someday?
What if later does not come?
You see the ultimate procrastinators nightmare is not having a chance to do what we wanted to but never did.
Then what do you do with your choices of how you use your time? I say this like time is something you get an allotment of, not an unlimited abundant supply that never ends. You just don’t know how much you have.
So in coping terms it is wise to not act as if we are about out of time. Then again maybe it is also wise to act as if our time is precious beyond measure.
You often hear from parents for example comments like ‘where did the time go?’ or 'how did my kids grow up so fast?'.
We hold out as well for points of time in the future. We create idealised aspiration points to reach, like a race with markers.
How many people as they get older focus on retirement or at least a change of lifestyle? Many. If you are 30, probably not even on your mind yet. If 60, then definitely a different story.
Again though it does not matter. For we do not know how much time we have. We are effectively hedging our bets.
So if we don’t know how much time we have then why do we hold off on making the most of now? Why do we hold off on living life? Why do we hold off on doing what we really love? Why do we hold off on anything?
Then also if time is limited why do we spend time with people we don’t want to be with or doing things that we do not enjoy out of obligation, a false sense of social decorum or guilt?
The way I like to consider this conundrum is to bring our focus closer to now. So ask yourself the following questions:
1. What would you do if you found out you had 20 years to live?
2. What would you do if you then learned that instead of 20 it was actually 2 years?
3. What would you do if tomorrow you won $10 million, really do?
4. What would you do with three wishes granted irrespective of time required?
Then consider what comes up for you with these not so small questions.
Then consider whether you like or don’t like what comes up.
Then consider what you want to do about your response.
You see I played with these questions. I won’t share my answers other than to say one thing. When I looked at the list of things I would do I realised that there are a lot of things I can do now. I also realised that there a lot of things that I want to do now before I can’t do them.
As I finish this reflection I start to think this is not an exercise in filling up your diary, completing your bucket list or embarking on grandiose projects. No it is an exercise to focus you on what matters and how your life is enjoyed EVERY DAY, EVERY MOMENT with quality! I mean a quality that is so wonderful and amazing that even the depth of your challenges become an experience you own and go through fully living.
For what you have going over quite a lot of other people is that you are still alive to read this post.
You still do have time to decide how you choose to live your life.
You still do have time to decide how you can and will contribute to society.
You still do have time to decide how you enjoy and do the best work you can do.
You still do have time. You still do have time!