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Don’t Believe Them When They Tell You “Life is Short”

By Stacylrust

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I believe life is long. I believe it is really, really long.

It’s so long, in fact, that you have plenty of time to waste.

Now, this idea clashes right up against the conventional wisdom that life is short.

I often hear people say that life is short, and that if you don’t take full advantage of every single day, your life will pass you by. In some respects, this can be a beautiful way to live. If you believe life is short, you might pursue your life’s dream, you might tell that special someone how you feel, or you might remove yourself from a toxic situation. After all, life is too short to be unhappy.

But, if you believe that life is short, you might also take another (far too common) route. You might take the route of fear.

Sometimes when we believe life is short, we don’t give ourselves time to make mistakes, try new things, or get caught up in something frivolous. We don’t allow ourselves to really screw up or to jump into something with our whole heart only to find that it’s not what we want after all.

We are perpetually afraid to waste time, for fear that we might end up “behind” in the grand scheme of life. We fear the judgments of others, but worst of all, we fear disappointing ourselves. We are afraid our lives may go by and we won’t have made an impact, fulfilled our potential, or left a legacy.

We are terrified to go down the wrong path, because we might waste our limited time and end up with regrets.

I’ll bet the whole concept of “regret” stems from a feeling of wasted time.

We beat ourselves up when we don’t get things right the first time, because we have this ever-present feeling that the clock is ticking. So many people rush into life decisions and settle for what they don’t want because they’re afraid to take their time and splash around a little.

Maybe you want to make a career change, or go back to college. Maybe you want to start a business, or take a year off and travel the world. Maybe you want to quit your job and raise your family. So many people refuse to acknowledge these deep desires because they are scared that things may not work out, that they might yet again change their mind and waste time, or look back with regrets.

We refuse to be happy right now, because we are too busy figuring out exactly how we will be happy tomorrow. We plan our futures until our heads hurt, because we want to get it right, and get there fast.

No matter how old you are today, your life ahead of you is long. You’ve got all the time in the world to make mistakes, change your course, and try again. Don’t be afraid to lean back and enjoy where you are today. Your life will unfold as it should.

No more avoiding what you want, no more beating yourself up. No more limiting yourself to what’s practical and responsible. Life is long and beautiful. There’s no ticking clock, or mile markers along the way. Enjoy the accomplishments you have made, and look forward to the rest that are right around the corner.

When we recognize that life is long, regret begins to dissolve.

When we embrace the unknown, time expands.

Give yourself a pat on the back for the life you’ve created, and trust that more of what you desire is on its way. Life is long, far too long to be unhappy. And, it is far too long to make decisions that are safe, but dissatisfying. So take your chances, make your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to waste a little (or a lot) of time.

photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc


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