Nobody wants to die young. It’s one of the saddest things ever. When you see a child, toddler, or even teenagers going through health problems so young, it tears us down. We hate to see so much possibilities get sidetracked by spending months in the hospital. Dying early is a universal tragedy.
But early, is really just a relative term. If you die at thirty years old, you still had your whole life ahead of you. You were young. Dogs on the other hand, only life for an average of ten to thirteen years. So thirty years would be a blessing for a dog’s life. It’s all relative. But I think how we approach our lifespan makes a difference on how we live our life.
If we only had an average of forty years to live, I think we’d all live our lives with a different approach. Here’s how I would approach it.
I would do pretty much exactly the same things I’m doing now.
That sounds pretty arrogant, I know. But there’s good reasoning behind it. Ever since I learned that I have sickle cell disease, my outlook on life changed. It wasn’t the months spent in and out of the hospital. It wasn’t all the days of missed classwork I had to recoup. And it wasn’t all the physical activities I was benched from even though I believed I could excel in them.
One of the most life-altering things I learn about living with sickle cell disease, is that the average lifespan is a measly thirty years. That completely changed my entire outlook on life and how approached my life plans. These days the average lifespan has increased to around forty years old which is good, but doesn’t change much.
Because I always remind myself I could die at the age of forty, worst case thirty, I change my approach to things. The way I looked at goals is that everything I’m doing now should be in some way directly related to accomplish those goals. There is no time to go to college for six plus years for a degree that I would hang on the wall to make my mom proud. Instead, I made the choice to drop out and start a business that promotes creativity.
This was a tough decision. It was something that many people take years to evaluate, and even then decide to follow the straight and narrow path. When you’re on a tight schedule, tough decisions just become decision. I often ask myself, “Is this something that will matter to me on my deathbed?” And if it’s no, then I’m a no.
I also learned to optimize my the happiness in my life. There are so many toxic people in the world waiting to compromise your your happiness. I’ve learned to cut these things out. If there’s a friend that only adds negative energy to your life, it’s time to part ways. Again, tough decisions. But with just forty years on the clock, there’s no time to drag along the most negative link. You must cut out the negativity and know the positivity will grow stronger because of it.
Another thing I do with how approach my life, is trying to balance my efforts between the future and the present. In other words, I spend half of my time doing things that make me happy now. And I spend the other half of my time doing things that will make me happy in the future. Too many people put all there chips into immediate gratification, and when they get older there’s nothing for them. They didn’t invest in their future happiness.
On the same token, many people only invest their time and energy in their future. You’ll find these people constantly planning for this, or saving for that. And naturally I’m one of these forward thinking people. It’s just sad when you put so much time and energy into future endeavors, just to never make it there. So keeping that time-bomb top of mind encourages me to live for my present self every now and then. It’s only fair.
Ultimately, there’s no perfect way to live a life, whether it’s short or long. But living a shorter life has inspired me to live with more purpose. And while I doubt the human lifespan will drop to forty any time soon, I hope we can all aspire to live not better, but truly our best lives!