Your Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal

We only get one shot so make the most of it

Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

Life is a simple process. You’re born, you live for a while, and then you die.

While this is oversimplifying the process somewhat, it is in essence what life is. We are here one moment and gone the next.

However, while we are here, we have a choice, do we live our life to the fullest? Or do we sleepwalk through life and go through the motions?

We all have done this at some point. It’s impossible to be conscious of the fact that you will die one day all of the time.

We are humans, and go about our business and forget these facts. Some of us just don’t like to face this uncomfortable truth and bury our heads in the sand instead.

If you surveyed 100 random people and asked them if they were living the life they wanted to live right now, I believe the answers would be interesting.

There would be those who are content with the life they lead. Those who want a little more out of life and chase after it, while there would be those who bemoan their luck and wish things had gone differently.

This is a dangerous situation to be in. We all have the power to change our lives today, we just choose not to because of inconvenience.

It’s uncomfortable to face up to the fact that you aren’t making the most of the one-shot you get at life.

Conversely, the best way to do this is to remind yourself that one day, you will die.

One Life Is Enough, If You Live It Right

How many times have you sat and contemplated your mortality?

I bet you can count the number on either one or two hands. It’s an uncomfortable subject, it’s easier to ignore rather than face up to. Life is long enough us to fool us into thinking it will last forever, yet short enough to waste.

It is this scenario which causes us to bury our heads in the sand, and proceed in life without much consideration for what we are doing.

However, this is no way to live your life.

If you do this, you run the risk of living someone’s else’s life rather than your own. You have to take ownership of our own life, otherwise, someone else will.

A good way to take ownership of this issue is to ask yourself the following question:

If your life ended tomorrow, would you be happy with the life you have lived?

It’s a simple question and one that will get to the heart of the issue. We all have dreams and goals, but too often we put them on the back-burner because life got in the way.

But life didn’t get in the way, more than likely, you got in the way of yourself. There is no reason you can’t still complete these ambitions, it’s just that it is uncomfortable to do so.

It was Louis E. Boone that said, the saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions:

Could have

Might have and

Should have

How many situations in your life do these three descriptions apply to? We all have points in our lives where we could have taken one path, yet chose another.

While we can’t accomplish everything we set out to, if you have a long list of things you wish you had done, something has gone amiss.

Take Risks

We are creatures of habit.

We develop routines and systems and become wedded to these over time. Some of them are good for us, some of them are bad. The problem is, we become more and more attached to these habits the longer we hold on to them.

If you want to make the most of your life, you have to recognise which habits are good and which are bad.

Anything worth doing in life involves risk. It is the gateway to unlocking your potential, but we perceive the practice as dangerous. We could continue to do what we are doing and coast along for a while longer, or we could take a risk and see if we can reach our lofty goals.

It’s easy to look at those goals and determine they are too hard to reach, and that it’s too big a risk to try and get there.

But that is only doing yourself a disservice.

You have to ask yourself one fundamental question:

Is it best to take a chance and risk it all? Or do you want to grow old and live with regret for what might have been?

To make the most out of life, we have to take the occasional risk now and again. If we spend our lives going through the motions, the only person we are cheating is ourselves.

You owe it to yourself to challenge your boundaries and see how far you can push yourself. Anyone can through life existing, not everyone can go through life living.

The Takeaway

Life is a precious gift, and the majority of us take it for granted. It is fragile and can be expelled at any moment.

These thoughts are considered morbid, yet they are precisely the opposite, they are essential. It is only by recognising your mortality that you can push yourself to live your life to the fullest.

If you knew you only had 100 days to live, all of your preconceptions, habits and routines would go out of the window.

You would no longer be averse to taking risks because there wouldn’t be any. You’re going to die anyway so what does it matter!? But what is the difference between dying 100 days in the future or 100,000?

Yes, you will have longer on this beautiful planet, but eventually, you will be gone.

Keep in mind this fact, and it will push you on to greater things. It will keep you grounded, humble and may lead you to do things you never thought you could.

If you want to make the most of your life, realise that one day it will end. You need to make the most of it now, not tomorrow!

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