“Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.” Carnegie, Dale. (1948). How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said this: “I can’t wait
We all do this. We spend our present moments focused upon our future in one way or another. We can’t wait to grow up. We can’t wait for the weekend. We count the years until we can take a vacation or retire.
My parents died at 57 and 61, respectively. While I am not a
statistician, this made me realize that my personal time on this planet is
limited. I may not live long enough to achieve financial freedom again. I may
not live until tomorrow even; I could be hit by a truck as I walk to work for
all I know.
Many people realize that, like me, they may never achieve their goals. They decide to enjoy life as it comes since nothing is guaranteed aside from our now.
While I may not live to see tomorrow’s sunrise, I live in
hope of experiencing many more. While I may not live to achieve financial
freedom I choose to live my life as if I will by planning my life and finances
Yet I’ve realized that over the past two years I’ve spent
the majority of my time working towards that uncertain future. Instead of
savoring the life I have today I have kept myself focused upon the steps I want
to take to achieve my overall goals. Instead of today, I’ve consistently
focused upon my tomorrow, be it my next day off, my next investment, or the
next stage of college.
I’ve taken some time off to consider what I really want in my life, focusing on the areas that don’t require money. I asked myself: if I were scheduled to die tomorrow, how would I want to spend my today?
The answer was surprising in its simplicity. If I were to
die tomorrow, I would want to spend my today resting, reading, and writing one
last blog post to pass on anything I believed might help you as you continue
I wouldn’t stress over pinching pennies. I wouldn’t
constantly search for my next investment. I wouldn’t send every last dime I’d
managed to save to my brokerage account. While I wouldn’t spend myself broke, I
would allow myself to buy some new music, download an ebook that caught my
interest (as opposed to waiting for a physical copy to arrive after I died),
then I would stretch out, take a long relaxing breath of thankfulness, and
quietly savor my last day on earth as I listened to the new music playing in
That is something I can do right here and now in my current
life. All I have to do is shift my focus. I can achieve the life I desire to an
immense degree without having to wait and hope for a future that I may not live
This is why I started taking time off each week to relax. This is why I began to eliminate drama from my life.
And this is why I encourage you to do the same.
Goals are a wonderful thing. They keep us alive and moving
forward but it’s neither healthy nor productive to sacrifice every moment of
your now striving for a future you may not live to attain or complaining that
it hasn’t arrived yet.
Today I want you to take a few moments to step back from
your entire life. Ask yourself how you would want to spend today if you were
scheduled to die tomorrow. Focus upon the things that don’t require money.
Would you want to spend your last day enjoying your family?
If so, make arrangements to simplify your schedule so that you can start doing
Would you prefer to spend your last day free of drama? Then
begin cutting the major sources of drama from your life.
Would you like to be free of the endless chores that come
with caring for a home? While you may not be able to eliminate them entirely,
you can begin to pare down your possessions and streamline your routine to
eliminate much of the overhead.
Would you like to take one final trip before you leave this
life? Start making plans and saving up so that you can take that trip in the
You can still work towards the future, but you don’t have to
sacrifice the entirety of your now to achieve it. I have discovered that, by
simply shifting your priorities a bit, that you can live the life you desire to
a significant degree immediately.
Take a moment to comment upon how you would want to spend
your last day of life below. Share the steps you intend to take now to make
that happen. Then share this post with the one friend is sacrificing their now
to worry about an uncertain future.
I plan to discuss the specific ways I’ve began to streamline
my life in order to spend more time doing the things I enjoy without
sacrificing my goals for the future. If there is a particular subject you would
like for me to address, leave a comment below.