I heard an interesting statement on the radio the other day.
“Most people die at 25 years old but aren’t buried until sometime after 65.”
I think what is implied is that most people lose the intense passion for life that young adults feel. Of course this is a generalization, but it made me consider what might be true for many of us.
What takes away this desire – or more accurately, why do we surrender it?
In a word: FEAR.
I get comfortable with routine, a steady paycheck (not a bad thing) and start to resign myself to a smaller life. I bury myself in possessions and then realize I have to pay for them and maintain them – maybe go into debt to have them. As time goes on my dreams fade. As we get older we wonder where all the years went. Why does time move so quickly? The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months turn into years.
If every day is like the last, the time will go quickly. There is nothing unique in each day for us to remember it by. It is only the significant events in our life that will stand out. The fewer of these that we have the faster life will pass. But when we are really alive and passionate we will fill each day with more meaningful things to pursue. And the time will slow down.
Most people will surrender their free time to passive pursuits like television, video games, surfing the web and the like. They will settle for being entertained, rather than being inspired. And the time will pass quickly and the day will soon be forgotten.
Guilty! I am guilty of this and it bugs me. And I am trying to change this.
I think the 80/20 rule probably applies here. 20% of us really “get” this and will not settle for mediocre lives. We will push past our fears and take risks and be willing to stand out from the crowd. Others will cheer us on from the stands, living vicariously. And their lives will go quickly.
What dreams have you lost? What positive pursuits have you abandoned to fear or complacency? What motivated you earlier on in life? What feels unfinished?
As I get older my fears have changed. I have become more afraid of having wasted my life – or at least of having missed significant opportunities of lasting value. Where have I built up my treasures? Here or in heaven?
My word for the year is ‘simplicity’ and I think it holds a key to the solution. I will develop the idea in a future post. The word scares some people and encourages others. What about you?