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Enough-Time
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“There’s plenty of time.” (But what if there’s not?)

enough-time

I’ve been working on a new, non-profit writing project that I’ll share tomorrow. Here’s a preview of the concept—for more on the project itself, see the note at the end or check back tomorrow.

***

A specter is haunting the internet. Everywhere you go, you hear about how you should slow down. First it was slow food (a good thing). Then there was slow living (not so good) and the rejection of striving and effort (even worse).

The central part of this message is: “There’s plenty of time. Stop hurrying and take it easy. Bake cakes, play in the forest, do what you want.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few months, and tomorrow’s project is an attempt to say something different.

The central part of the alternative message is: “HURRY UP. Life is short, so we should put our limited time to good use.”

Why so intense? Because we only get one chance.

Why the rush? Because we’ve got a lot to do and a short amount of time to do it.

***

A common scenario involves imagining that today was your last day on earth:

What would you do if this was it? You have only one day to live.

It’s a good question to think about, but not sufficient on its own. If today were your last day, you might tell someone you loved them. You might try to make amends with someone you had wronged. You might enjoy the time as much as possible, and you might indeed bake a cake.

All of these things are good, but you can do them anytime. No need to wait for the warning of a last day that you’ll never receive. Most of us don’t get the chance to know when our last day is, and even if we do, we’re not usually in a position to make real changes.

Besides, a single day is short-term by design, and you’ll never create anything with lasting value in the short-term. Sure, you can “live in the present”—but if you want to build something beautiful, you’d better be thinking about the future as well.

Instead of watching life as it passes you by, what if you actively worked on crafting a legacy composed of creative work that helps others?

What if there was a systematic method of “legacy work” that allowed you to build this enduring record step-by-step?

Yes, there might be plenty of time left. But what if there’s not?

There is an urgency to life, whether you want it or not. When you embrace the urgency instead of ignoring it, you can create something that changes the world. Oh, and you can do this in a fun way that makes the best use of your own talent and motivation.

In a world of take-it-easy, who needs a life oriented about effort and achievement?

Well, I certainly do. And perhaps you do too.

***

Tomorrow morning I’ll release a new manifesto, the first in more than two years. It’s all about living with urgency and how you can build something over time. If you find it worthy of attention, I’d be grateful for your help in spreading the word.

###

Image: Rutty

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71 Comments

  • Cynthia says:

    I can’t wait to read your manifesto! It sounds brilliant 🙂 Just what I need, in fact…

  • Conni says:

    I am suuuper-excited about your manifesto!!

    I wish I could just take and shake some people, wake them up from the idea that there is enough time in their life to do what they love, thus giving themselves a reason to postpone dreams, desires, passions etc.
    There might not ever be enough time. We never know what happens tomorrow. Or on our way home from work today. We never, ever know.

    Thank you so much for bringing this up, for urging people to live everday as if it was their last.

  • Wasim says:

    This is exactly what I’v been thinking about for a long time and I think it is fear of moving fast when we know we can just plod along slowly. Also there is a loneliness to making big changes and no one wants to be lonely. BUT we all know in the back of our minds that it’s down to laziness too.

  • Thanks for this one. It made me smile. I just blogged about slowing down (crazy chaotic holiday stuff). But now I think I will think about speeding up and liking it.
    Makes me laugh…..

  • Couldn’t agree more! Although I believe that patience is critical and slowing down to enjoy life is important, thriving is a practice. Most of us have to put into practice the habits that will help us thrive – setting a budget and sticking to it, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating healthy, daily meditation. achieving short and long-term goals for our business/career.

    Thanks for a great reminder!

  • cregg says:

    Not to cast a somber shadow on this important message, but speaking as someone who has recently lost a close family member much earlier than is fair, I now see the importance of not wasting a precious minute. However, looking back on my life, I also see that stopping to smell a rose or two does help you to appreciate things before they’re gone and it’s too late to appreciate them any more…

  • Maia Duerr says:

    Interesting perspective, Chris. It reminds me of the chant we do at the end of the night during Zen retreats:

    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time passes swiftly and opportunity is lost. Let us awaken, awaken…. Do not squander your life.”

    I feel that both perspectives are valid and can mutually co-exist — I love to savor each moment and to be mindful of the harm that I may cause by rushing to something, whether that’s a conclusion or a spot on the road with my car. But I also agree with you (and with the chant) and there’s no time to waste.

    One of those wonderful paradoxes in life…

    Look forward to seeing the new manifesto!

  • Barrie says:

    What a thought-provoking post. As you get older, you become particularly aware of the fleeting nature of life — and it makes you eager to cram as much “living” into your days as possible. Yes, there should be some sense of urgency, of not wasting hours on soul-numbing activities that don’t add value to your own life or the world. For me, the key is balance. There are only so many important activities one can cram into a day and still appreciate and enjoy them. Yes, think about the future and plan for the beautiful things you want to build, but keep your feet planted in the present so you can fully live and enjoy what you are doing now. I’m looking forward to your manifesto!

  • Brandon says:

    Thank you, Chris. I was just having this conversation with someone very special last night. We were talking about balancing work and personal time, and I shared that it feels like I have an opportunity to make a big mark on the world and do something really meaningful. That’s fun in and of itself, so I don’t see it as sacrifice.

    I’m 37, and I spent my 20s not really thinking too much about the future, making a difference, etc. Now it’s something I think about every day. I strive to be present in the Now, and by doing so, I see the opportunities to make the world a better place tomorrow.

    Btw, I gave my friend a copy of AONC last night and told him he would love it. I’m sending him this post too – it’s perfectly timed. Can’t wait to read the manifesto!

  • Mike Melia says:

    I’m excited to read what you have to say.
    I have always believed in urgency and patience . . . what a cool combination.

  • gwyn says:

    Yes! Living with urgency. Not to be confused with living in panic.

    I spent much of my life, for reasons I won’t go in to, living as if I had no future. I really believed I had nothing to offer and believed my life would be short. Now, realizing that I do have something to offer, but also that time and life is ever fleeting, I do need to view my work with urgency. I don’t want to leave this world with that cake half baked 🙂

    Looking forward to the manifesto.

  • I think there’s a balance to be had. Personally, I’m very aware that my time is limited, as I have some very concrete deadlines in place for going self-employed and starting a family (before which I want to have certain business goals achieved). I can’t slack off or “take it easy” if I want to meet my goals before then.

    But at the same time, I think it’s also important to remember that building something of value takes time. The kind of business projects I’m working on right now aren’t things that can be done overnight – if I rush them, I’m not going to wind up with the level of quality I want, so I have to keep that in mind as well 🙂

  • Amy says:

    This is a really interesting take on the prevalent push for mindfulness. My writing really is geared toward both perspectives; results take effort, but to enjoy them, you have to be present.

    I think there’s a real danger in getting stuck in the future because, as you say, we never know which day will be our last. What if you live today solely for tomorrow? You would waste your whole life!

    Mindfulness can help us enjoy every day while driving us to achieve our full potential. For some people, it takes slowing down or even coming to a full stop to become mindful. If this is what it takes to enjoy life to the fullest, I say slow down!

    That said, a lot of what you say in this post encourages mindfulness. Realizing there is an inherent urgency to life is mindful as well! A lot of people could really use the information in this post to motivate them off the couch and into doing something. Anything!

    REALLY looking forward to seeing your new project, Chris!

  • April says:

    For the first time ever, I disagree with you, Chris. I find your post misogynistic. Things like baking cakes, expressing love, and making amends with people are nurturing, feminine things, and you seem to denigrate them. But these things actually are a kind of creative work, work that is vital and important and helps others.

    You emphasize the importance of “achievement”. But your way of measuring achievement seems soulless. I can’t express how disappointed I am right now.

  • Chris says:

    @April,

    I certainly don’t think this perspective is misogynistic, but I’m sorry you’re disappointed and I wish you well.

  • Betsy says:

    Eager to see how you frame the whole spectrum from stopping to smell the roses to urgently pursuing change in the world. To new manifestos!

  • Rick-Sr says:

    I’m looking forward to it, Chris!

  • Ileana says:

    Hi Chris, I both agree and disagree with you. We should always be putting our time to good use definitely, because we have only so much time left to live.

    However, speaking from experience I guess there has to be a balance. For years I was living the “getting things done efficiently and effectively” motto, working 16 hour days and even though I did well in many areas my body started getting sick and I couldn’t carry on and had to stop working for almost a year. Of course, I’m sure you’re not advocating such a lifestyle, but I thought I would just share the experience so other people could learn from it and not carry both (work or leisure) to an extreme.

    Again, great post Chris!

  • Gerhard says:

    That sounds like a very mature message. I’ll certainly read your manifesto! For me being productive and recharching my battery (by taking a walk for example) should be balanced. If I try to overcharge my battery, it will actually harm my productivity.

  • Kim says:

    I totally agree that we have limited time on this earth and that it should be put to good use. However, I also believe that slowing down can play a part in that. It’s not an either/or. So, I wrote a blog post with my thoughts. Looking forward to reading your manifesto.

  • Zuwena says:

    Hi Chris,

    I loved your first manifesto! I’m really looking forward to this next one.

  • Gray Miller says:

    I’ll be very interested to read your new manifesto, Chris. I’m not sure where I fall in the “urgent-vs-slow” argument. I was raised with a sense of work ethic urgency, reinforced by a stint in the Marines, and then dove right into fatherhood, self-employment, and now traveling, teaching, and presenting all over the world. It does create a sense of urgency, and there are times that I find myself only going on through momentum.

    Which is why the “slow” movement has some appeal to me. Maybe it’s a fantasy – you see other people in activities that look fun but that seem forever beyond your reach. I’ll be honest, I don’t know that I believe that it has to be one or the other. Yes, you need a sense of mission, but if you go headlong thru things you do actually miss a lot.

    Maybe it would be better to paraphrase the Einstein quote the mnmlists love so much:

    “Life should be lived as slowly as possible…but no slower.”

    Thanks for giving me a sense of urgency about reading your blog tomorrow!

  • Tony says:

    Great timing, no pun intended. I’ve also been thinking A LOT about this. Just wrote a blog post about it, in fact. Literally just hit “publish” a couple of hours ago.

    Not only is life short, but your time is being stolen from you.

    We live in a society which tells us how to live, and whats considered “normal”, since birth. This conditioning we received at such an early age literally steals years and years of life away from us. It’s not until adulthood that we have a chance to “wake up” and really start living a meaningful life.

    Sadly, though, some people never wake up.

    Thanks for checking out my site, as I’m new to the blogosphere. 🙂

  • Joe Lalonde says:

    Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to see what will come from this.

  • Jennifer says:

    Diving headfirst towards death? What is the point in that? The chaos of this world is created by the concept of time. Get MORE, do MORE and WANT more.

    Having a good idea, putting it into action and hitting a deadline doesn’t require a person to hurry. You should be advocating time management for effective results. Rushing usually leaves a shoddy product that limits its use or has to be recreated.

    Experiencing the small things can give just as much joy as travelling the world, it is a matter of perspective. I myself have a solid plan to go to Germany and explore the Black Forest, you can bet on the fact I will enjoy every calm movement, smile and pleasure getting there. Self-awareness and patience are possibly the hardest, most useful and entirely graftifying skills a person can have.

  • IyagiDad says:

    There’s a saying: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes….”

    I think it’s not just about the act of speed…but the *what* as well. Sounds cool.

  • Chris says:

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your feedback, and greetings from the early morning AA 842. I’m heading out right now (PDX-DFW-JFK then beyond) and will post more comments from each stop along the way.

  • Riona says:

    I would LOVE to hear from the over 50 crowd who are still doing it, who are still living and changing….
    Anyone? We need to know we can live to tell the story!

  • Tom Pinit says:

    Hi Chris, I’m looking forward to reading your new manifesto. My wife and I actually had a discussion about this last night (and invoked your name as an example, hope you don’t mind!). We talked about living abroad and the type of lifestyle we would want (nomadic, country-hopper vs. more in-depth exploration of fewer places). I think we fall more toward the longer time abroad in fewer places “camp”, but I agree that there needs to be an urgency around GETTING out there in the first place. Have a safe trip to South Sudan, you’re escaping the Portland frost just in time!

  • Brian says:

    I disagree with you.

    Hurrying and having a sense of urgency doesn’t make you ‘achieve more’. It makes you stressed out and miss what’s right in front of you. The world doesn’t need more people who are in a rush. The world needs more people who pause and think hard about what they really want to do.

    I frankly feel you’re just writing this article so you have a contrarian headline. Is this really your attitude? It doesn’t feel genuine…

  • Delores says:

    Thanks Chris. Looking forward to it. I’ve been vaguely uneasy with all the websites suggesting we don’t need goals and urging us to toss our “to do” lists. I understand not being slavish and seizing the moment but without a direction and some steps outlined to move me in that direction, I just don’t make forward progress. So I can’t wait to see how you’ve articulated some of the things I’ve been thinking and feeling.

  • Maria says:

    Time is our most limited resource. We know that clock is ticking every moment…

    What I usually don’t like about the “slow down” messages is the concept of “enjoying life because you deserve it”. “Have a massage – you deserve it”, “eat that cake – you deserve it”.

    I think it’s so misleading…And it harms people.

    E.g., people who want to lose weight may impulsively eat cake, because after all, they deserve it…

  • Bill Polm says:

    At one month from 70, I know time is short. But I have a tendency to be a workaholic. So I aim for a balance. Enjoy the moments and don’t rush, but exercise discipline not to waste my time with trivia. I can watch a little CNN–I call it getting the “bad news.” But it’s easy to lazily linger too long. Usually a few minutes, as a break from writing and painting, is plenty.

    So my thing is balance with goals. Easy to go overboard in either direction.

  • I think what you’re getting at, Chris, is what I urge my coaching clients to do; and that is to figure out what’s really important to them in life, what they’re passionate about, and then spend their time, energy, blood, sweat, tears and money on that. And, that important thing may be leaving a legacy of a couple of decent, well-raised children, a business that serves the needs of those around them, writing a book with a message that moves people… And, at the same time, to stop spending/wasting time, energy, blood, sweat, tears and money on things that don’t matter to them – things that keep them from achieving the vision they want, things like the frantic pace of life on auto-pilot that our society seems to foist upon us.

    It’s not about slowing down and doing nothing. Nor, is it about speeding up and doing something. It’s about slowing down enough to be in the present moment so that one can hear their inner wisdom to learn what their purpose is. And, then to do the tasks with a sense of urgency and direction that serve them in co-creating with the Divine to achieve that vision and leave the legacy of which you speak.

    Looking forward to the manifesto!

  • Brandy says:

    “Instead of watching life as it passes you by, what if you actively worked on crafting a legacy composed of creative work that helps others?”

    Yes! You’ve articulated something here that I’ve felt for a long time for lacked the right words.

    Yours express it beautifully. Thank you for this.

  • Ahmad Masrahi says:

    Just a few weeks ago, I was changed by the idea of slowing down. I was happy. I looked at things differently. Now, I can’t to see things from a new perspective again.

  • Irene says:

    I beg to differ.

    Those messages are not a call to sit around and do nothing; that’s a misinterpretation. They are a reminder to slow down and enjoy what we are doing. They are an antidote to the hurry, hurry, let’s get a gazillion things done today, be super successful, accomplish, accomplish, achieve, achieve lifestyle which is stressing everyone out and creating illness, addictions and internal havoc for many people.

    Yes time is limited, but somewhere amongst all the rushing, pressure, deadlines, and neverending to do’s, find some personal time out to enjoy the aspects of your life that you are creating.

    Sometimes, it’s the little things, like a hug from a loved one that add dimension to the physicality of life. That doesn’t mean that you should give up accomplishing and building…it is a call for balance to the frenetic pace of living that many are experiencing today. It is a call to appreciate the non physical aspects of life.

    Some people truly enjoy a fast paced, pressure cooker life and are equipped to do so. Some are not, and need to slow down(not stop altogether) to smell the roses and then paint, write, speak etc about those roses. Some people are primarily social and relational; some are doers. We are all different, and there are no one size fits all solutions. It is a matter of finding your own balance.

    Happiness is what works for you.

  • Yay! I can’t wait to read it, Chris.

  • Joe Amadon says:

    Looking forward to the new manifesto, Chris. I’m a little conflicted on the fast-slow dichotomy that has been established. I think we can easily move too fast or too slow as a way to avoid making the tougher decisions about what we should be doing.
    I’ve often considered the question of “What would I do if it was my last day?” but as you mentioned, it leads you to be too short-sighted, or it leads you to view it as an idealistic question. I think a more appropriate phrasing would be, “If this had been your last day, would you be happy with it?” I think this question focuses on having done something valuable/important, whether that is “legacy work” or just having an incredible experience.

  • Omar says:

    Great post Chris. Looking forward to reading your manifesto.

  • Doug Clickenger says:

    Great topic. It resonates with me especially during this phase of my ‘journey’. The past 5 + years have been with lung cancer. A month of so ago, the oncologist told me that I’m at the “end stage” with the disease. Without chemo; 2 – 4 months. With chemo; 1 -2 years. I have already had 12 months of it ending this past June. Choosing chemo and expecting more than 2 years, has me evaluating my life, my transgressions and most importantly those whom love me and that I love. Amends are being made where I can, and are appropriate.

    I look forward to more about this, and how it fits my life so well at this moment. In the meantime, life is full, active and I feel a ministry to accomplish in whatever time I may have left….hopefully a lot of time as there is much to do.
    Namaste to all…

  • PLAN for the future, but don’t LIVE in it.

  • Bob DeLoyd says:

    BEING NORMAL IS A SICKNESS!

    Yup, been doing the best I can, trying to get things done and be creative 🙂
    This past year I wrote two novels and have done a bunch of other things. I exercise and run a mile everyday (except Sundays or if the weather is bad), write songs and play them on guitar, love astronomy and go outside at night to stargaze. I keep an online journal that goes back a bunch of years. I feel lucky and fortunate that I can do these!

    Turn off the TV and get out and do something creative- anything!

    I had one friend who watches TV all day long tell me that jogging is bad for the knees- she weighed 300 pounds; she gone now 🙁
    So it’s best not to listen to naysayers, you know who they are, and just get out and live, create, and be good to your body!

  • Life is about duality and the purpose of duality is balance. Life is a balance of “urgency” and “slow down”. Sometimes “urgency” is needed, sometimes “slow down” is needed.

  • RANJORE says:

    Remember…your heatbeats are ticking away! And when our heartbeats are gone, we never get them back. Live how you may…the beat goes on but not forever!

  • I’m a stop and smell the roses kind of gal, which is not the same as a sit on your butt and do nothing gal. It’s about enjoying life- like savoring my wine versus chugging something straight from the bottle.
    I believe in momentum and goals, but most people I see rushing around are doing things that look like pointless nonsense rather than anything meaningful. No judgment, but if you’re rushing off to a stressful job you hate , that isn’t making the best of the life you have, and that’s what most urgent people I see appear to be doing.
    I feel the urgency of time flying by daily, but what I want most is to really enjoy my days and do something I feel will matter. To me, making art matters, playing with kids matters, writing from my heart matters. So does walking in the forest, & helping people. So much to do- so little time.
    You’re right that most of us don’t know how much time we have, but I know that I’m glad for the time I spent building with Legos and reading stories to my kids. I’m glad I take them traveling, even if they slow the trip down. I think it will matter a lot more in the long run that they had that time with their mom than if I had rushed off. Life’s short- enjoy it!

  • Marilyn says:

    I think the “slow” movement was initiated to encourage us to define for ourselves what is important and focus our time and energy there rather than on the non-essentials or other people’s priorities, both of which cause us to be frantic. But, as with so many other things that start well, it may have been perverted to mean “aimlessness,” which is neither satisfying nor productive.

    As far as I know, one chance is all we get — let’s do it right!

  • Marge Newton says:

    I live by this thinking. Even when I had 4 children, a full time job, but need to complete a few college courses, I didn’t think about the idea of how much work was involved. The main idea was:

    If I don’t do it now, in 6 months, it won’t be done either.

    So, doing it now makes the most sense.

    As I just started out with my website, I think this idea is even more important. Why wait until tomorrow what can be done today.

    And I’m not talking about doing anything quickly or rushed, but with a sense of purpose. Quality often takes time, and if I were dying tomorrow, I still think I would take the time for quality.

    After all, if you don’t make your cake right, it won’t taste very good. Who wants a bad tasting cake to be their last memory.

  • Marge Newton says:

    PS: I look forward to reading the new manifesto!!

  • Sarah O says:

    Definitely a thought-provoking, even controversial stance on this issue. I agree with some of the commenters that hurrying up and getting lots and lots of stuff done constantly is overvalued in our culture. But that’s not what I thought this post was about.

    Life is indeed a balance, and slowing down to appreciate and savor the present is quite important. At the same time, that appreciation is all the sweeter when we feel like we truly expressing ourselves and using the talents we were blessed with.

    I think the word ‘urgency’ has a negative connotation, and I know I want to avoid feeling ‘urgent’ about anything. I’ve spent far too much time racing around attending to urgent tasks. My goal now is to move forward toward my dreams and spend my time wisely on what really matters.

    I like the short little song that sums it up: “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think…”

  • Maria says:

    There isn’t plenty of time. That’s quite true. I thought I had plenty of time to decide what to do with my life, but now that I have made a decision, I find that I do not have the money to accomplish my goal simply because I spent it all out of frustration with my life at the time before I made my decision.

    I don’t think Chris meant to be misogynistic, or produce a manifesto advocating the high-speed maximum consumption type A lifestyle favored by marketing agencies. Instead, he’s writing against the sort of time-wasters favored by people who don’t have goals.

    A better example of time wasting other than baking cakes might have been the man who is about to sit down and do a five year plan, but instead decides to go watch a football game. His thought process is “Hey, I can do my five year life plan later, but I can only see University of Kentucky play North Carolina today!” Then it becomes University of Kentucky versus Louisville, then Auburn, then Tennessee and suddenly, the guy is sixty-three and unable to accomplish his goal.

    Or the guy decides to go check his Facebook newsfeed, then spends hours arguing with someone about Obama’s foreign policy. Same result.

  • Cecelia says:

    I have mixed feelings as my personal response to this, Chris. A very subjective topic. There are those who have always been driven, and had the sense that their time is limited (Steve Jobs talks about this in his biography); he also includes reflections of particular regrets he had because of this urgent and impulsive behavior. And there are those who, for whatever reason, have a much slower pace than the “world,”we’ve come to know. When I was younger, I had this feeling you speak of, this sense of urgency…where I had to accomplish building Rome in a day. For me, this has shifted and it’s less about “accomplishing,” or “conquering.” Part of what made me shift down, instead of up, was my personal health. My body literally began shutting down. It was 5 years ago this Dec. 25 (also referred to as Christmas for those who celebrate) that I had a gran mal seizure out of the clear blue. Though I didn’t quite understand what this was about, I now do. Life was re-setting for me. Asking me to stop and listen, instead of “go.” Though I “get” what you are attempting to communicate here, I do question what the goal is of your message. What are you striving towards in releasing this manifesto?

  • Dipto says:

    you’ve been providing countless posts that inspire me to always look for alternative ways to live life. i can’t take up travel right now – school’s really pinning me down – but when the chain’s all gone, i’ll fly like a bird.

    can’t wait to read your new manifesto.

  • Chris – Interesting post. While I was reading it I could only think about one thing that I heard the rapper 50 Cent say one time… “I’ve got an opportunity to make an impact doing something I love, I’m going to seize that opportunity.”

    To seize an opportunity like so many of us want to, slowing down is not an option! Thanks for the post!

  • Having a life altering disease, a new wife, and now a newborn, I hear you on the urgency of life. I feel so blessed and much has been given to me. I know much is required and I want to freely give of those gifts and leave that legacy. But at the same time, give as much of myself to my family and friends. An art if ever there was one. Looking forward to the manifesto man.

  • Megan says:

    I find myself feeling this sense of urgency constantly! To the point that I become paralyzed with indecision. When life is short, how do you make sure that the decision you make or path you choose is the right one and not just a waste of time? Any advice?

  • Patrenia says:

    Can’t wait to read your new manifesto tomorrow! I know you’ll have a special twist to the words you’ve written here.:-)

  • Betsy Talbot says:

    Our tag line: “Life is short. Live your dream.” Watching my 35-year-old brother recover from a massive heart attack and then months later seeing a vibrant 30-something friend spend weeks in a hospital after a brain aneurysm taught us that there are no guarantees.

    Seize the day, live your dream, and leave the world a better place than the way you found it.

    Looking forward to this new project of yours, Chris.

  • Our control of time is an illusion and we create stress and suffering with continuous compulsive projection into the future and our preoccupation with memory and anticipation. There is never a time when your life is not existing in the present, so I say live in the now with awareness, passion and grace; at whatever speed you desire. It’s all you really have.

  • This post sure had good timing. My mom is in the hospital right now on life support. The Dr’s should finish their tests tomorrow and take her off the machines. So I am pretty sure that I can say that she will take her last breathe tomorrow.

  • Sue Kearney says:

    Perfectly timed thank you. My neighbor, a lovely quirky woman, was killed in a collision between her bicycle and a car yesterday. I’ve been in a bit of shock tonight, but feel the pull of my legacy very very strongly. Blessed be to Suzanne and her unexpected transition. Blessed be to us all as we live into our gift and our calling and our legacy. Thank you for shining your torch for me today!

  • Nils says:

    This reminds me of a great quote from the movie (Warren Schmidt), Jack Nicholson said:

    “I know we’re all pretty small in the big scheme of things, and I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference, but what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me?

    Relatively soon, I will die. Maybe in 20 years, maybe tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. Once I am dead and everyone who knew me dies too, it will be as though I never existed. What difference has my life made to anyone. None that I can think of. None at all.”

  • Danny says:

    When I was at school, I was good at studying and having the highest grades in class, and I was told that one shouldn’t fail in his study year, so not to repeat it again and lose a whole year. But I always thought, why, what’s the harry for?
    and that thinking dragged with me to university, and I studied for 2 years Pharmacy major (which I don’t regret because I don’t think any learning is wasted), then changed it to Graphic Design, which I’m definitely more passionate about.
    Some people thing that I wasted 2 years. I sometimes think now that I did, and could have had a better position in my career by now, and more things I’m not aware of that other people might have reached 2 years before me. But then again, I wasn’t mature enough to sense that at that time.
    But I sometimes tend to fill up my lost time (whether by working harder, and having fun whenever i have the chance) by working as a freelancer even on weekends, and saying yes to partying whenever possible.
    Maybe you have to harry up in your most productive years, while taking many travel breaks, and slow down whenever you feel you need to slow down, but stay productive as you grow older and older.

  • Arianne says:

    You just made my evening that you’re doing this! Tomorrow will be a good day…

  • Kent says:

    Very interesting.

    This is kind of the thinking that led us to create our “No Vacation Required” lifestyle. Life is short, so “waiting until someday” is not a smart strategy.

    Interestingly, though, now that we’ve been at this every-day-is-awesome lifestyle for 5 years, we’ve quickly learned what resonates and are able to slow down – to lean fully into what matters now that the gunk is cleared away.

    So, yes, hurry up in order to slow down. If that makes sense…

  • Cyrus says:

    This is really an adaptation of Parkinson’s Law which states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

    If you are in the mindset that you have a lot of time to do things.. you will end up lazily getting around to doing things “knowing” you have plenty of time to do them. That’s why I enforce mental deadlines on doing things both in my hometown and while on the road that I abide by.

    In the past I had found that I’d accomplish as much in a 3-4 day trip to NYC as when I’d spend a few weeks there. The urgency just isn’t there when your mindset is that you “know” you have time to do them one day.

  • Mke says:

    Thanks for opening up this conversation.

    My sense of dealing with our ever – accelerating lives and businesses is that clarifying what are the important areas and focusing our energies on dealing effectively with those is what will make a difference – maybe that includes slowing down and baking cakes.

    Simply discover what’s important and put your time and effort on that.

  • Fran says:

    “I have only just a minute, only sixty seconds in it, forced upon me, can’t refuse it, didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it. But, it is up to me to use it. I must suffer if I lose it. Give account if I abuse it, just a tiny little minute – but eternity is in it.” -Unknown author-

  • Bibi says:

    First time I’ve ever disagreed with one of your posts. I think you should also question the super importance of material achievement and “legacy” in the grand scheme of things. And, in answer to one of the other posters, if watching a particular game on TV made that fictional man more happy than writing his 5-year goals, then so be it, since he might be dead the next day. Living in the future, planning for a hypothetical future, putting off living till some future date, all this has made much of modern society live unhappy, meaningless lives.

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