Life is a long journey but a short trip. It doesn’t matter what age we pass away, life will always be too short. It’s like that feeling you get when a tv show you were completely hooked on ends next week. It could of been a thirty six episode season you were enjoying but when you near the end it just sucks. And you feel almost certainly that it was too short of a show. Life works the same way.
And we treat our lives essentially the same way. We live recklessly with no forethought for years and years. We don’t contemplate what life is like in our sixties. We don’t think deeply about our retirement plans. If society didn’t shove it down our throats some of us wouldn’t even have a retirement plan. We take a lot of our lives for granted until we get older. But most of us would approach things differently if we knew life was much shorter. The question is, “How short would your life have to be before you start living differently today?”
Here’s my thoughts on how short my life would need to be for me to live differently today.
The truth is many of us would surely try to live differently if we knew our lives were shorter. The job we get up and slave away at for hours and hour would not be ideal anymore. The friends we were really not fond of would no longer be tolerated. The girl or guy we had a five year crush on would just have to know the truth now. There’s no reason to waste time harboring those secrets and discomforts. My life is much shorter, I have to be make the most of it.
But it’s hard to believe that everyone would make those same changes. A big factor in the changes would be how short your life has now become. If you didn’t have the balls to speak to that girl for five years, would you really get the confidence now that your lifespan is two weeks shorter? Chances are you’ll still curl up in a ball when you see her. But if you went from sixty years to a mere six or less, so much would really change.
Naturally, everyone would start being deliberate with their time. The last thing we’d want to do is waste that six years working a boring dead job. It would be better to work a job that brings much more fulfillment. Most people would just chuck the job altogether. It’s safe to say having six years to live is motivation to change anyone’s lifestyle today. But that’s super short and a bit drastic. What is the maximum amount of years left where it feels short enough to make big changes immediately?
That is a much harder number to pinpoint. It would definitely vary from person to person. But for me, I’ve been in a situation where lifespan’s and numbers are put together. It sucks to ever experience but it surely opened my eyes to my specific amount of time needed to make me change my life. The number is anything. Any lifespan given where the consensus is that your life is significantly shorter, will make me live differently.
Most of us don’t wake up thinking about how long we’re going to live. The government gives us a general statistic on average human lifespan but it goes in one ear and out the other. Most of us couldn’t accurately guess the average human lifespan for a million dollars. We’re just not wired to be constantly thinking about the years and months we have left on earth. That’s why getting news that my life is short would give me a wake up call.
It would remind me that my life on Earth is limited. It’s a reminder we all need every now and then. That alone is enough to spark change in my life choices. But then not only am I reminded that my life is limited, but I’m told it’s now shorter. It could be a simple two weeks difference. It makes a difference. And I would start living deliberately with more intention on how I spend my time. Imagine the feeling of having your favorite show run for an extra two weeks versus being cut two weeks short. It matters. And I know it would change me, because I have been statistically said to have a much shorter lifespan than average. And every day I live differently because of it.