Life is too short. We all know it. We rarely act according to it.
The post, simply titled “Life is Short” was written by Paul Graham, and has managed to do what many cliche’ posts could not. Really look at what I’m spending my time doing and thinking – am I doing the right choices.
This paragraph really hit me:
“Having kids showed me how to convert a continuous quantity, time, into discrete quantities. You only get 52 weekends with your 2 year old. If Christmas-as-magic lasts from say ages 3 to 10, you only get to watch your child experience it 8 times. And while it’s impossible to say what is a lot or a little of a continuous quantity like time, 8 is not a lot of something. If you had a handful of 8 peanuts, or a shelf of 8 books to choose from, the quantity would definitely seem limited, no matter what your lifespan was.”
I’ve been prioritizing things all wrong for a long time now. Not talking only about work. But in general – I know that I’m spending my time on the wrong things. I feel it in my gut.
Are you spending time doing the wrong things? Here are a few ways to know:
- Your days go by too fast, but you don’t feel accomplished
- You have regrets on what you didn’t do this week
- You stay up working till the middle of the night because you ‘didn’t get everything done’
- You find yourself procrastinating too often
- You have something you’re saying you’d do for over a year, and never get to it
Those are just some examples.
Here’s the problem
When you watch a movie or read a fiction book – the moment the main character understand that they are not living the life they want to live, or that they are making the wrong choices – their next step is drastic.
Which misses the entire point of understanding how short life is.
Understanding life is short is all about looking within yourself and understand what you really care about and what you want to spend your time doing.
It’s not about changing everything, it’s not about leaving your work, it’s not about going for a 6 month trip in India or south America. It’s about figuring out what really matters to you.
The biggest problem with this “leave everything behind” approach the movies sell us, is that it discourages real people from understanding that small changes or tweaks to their lives, might be all they need to do. And eventually, the don’t even spend the time thinking about making changes.
Life is too short. It doesn’t mean you have to throw everything away. It means that you need to look at your life, review them and make time for the things that you really care about.
Life is short. What are you going to do next?