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The End Is (Always) Near

The End Is (Always) Near

Have you heard the one about the end of time? Yepโ€”it’s on the way.

Every day, we lose another 1,440 minutes that will never return. Farewell, minutes! Goodbye, opportunities.

The other day I noticed I had been thinking “I’ll do that in the summer” about a lot of things.

Then I realized, hey, it’s late August already … seriously? How did that happen?

However it works, time marches on.

This is a friendly reminder to stop living mindlessly. Spend your days in pursuit of joy and adventure. Help someone and create something that will endure.

The end is (always) near.

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Image: Joe

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52 Comments

  • So true. I was involved in a house fire last year, and if circumstances had been even the slightest bit different, I would have died. It was scary, for sure, but I don’t think there’s a better way for that message – “The end is always near” – to hit home.

    Every day is a gift, and it’s our privilege to decide how to use it.

  • Elana Miller says:

    I was just thinking yesterday how I can’t believe it’s already AUGUST – it feels like I just set my goals for 2011 the other day. I’m happy thought that I have take a lot of action this year to move my life in the direction I want to go in. But you’re right, time goes by FAST, and we probably all waste too much of it.

  • Kristen says:

    It still feels like summer in Texas…and likely will for quite sometime, so take that to heart and give yourself some more time to hit those goals. We have to find some good to make this heat worthwhile.

    Hasn’t there been some study done to show how time moves faster as you get older? It certainly seems anecdotally true, I rarely feel prepared for how quickly the months and years seem to pass by.

  • Chris Walter says:

    This is why my favorite question to ask people is, “What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you were 20?”.

    We only get one time round and it’s short. Might as well try to get right.

  • Reminds me of this thought by Kabir: “What you want to do tomorrow, do it today and what you want to do today, do it now.”

  • Josh says:

    My second daughter recently passed away at birth and I have been thinking about this very thought every day since she died. The end really is always near and I’m grateful for anyone who reminds anyone else about this reality.

    I have been following your blog for some time now. Thank-you for the gifts you offer through your writing, research and information.

  • Patrick says:

    This blog post could not come at a more appropriate time. I was just thinking how I spend SO many of my days “living mindlessly” and how I want to do something more exciting with my life. My recent trip to Canada and the visit of my Welsh friend have been great for giving me a renewed love of life again. I for one plan on maximizing my potential and finding a job in life that I love.

  • kyle says:

    I have been thinking similar thoughts! It is September now and I have many things left to accomplish from my 2011 list of goals. I better start moving faster.

  • Jim Devine says:

    Great reminder. Brings to mind Steve Jobs quote (partial) life is short,death is inevitable, dont play small.Thanks

  • Umrah says:

    Another reminder that there is no time like “now” to create the life you want, and that it’s never to late. A great quote I heard…”A year from now you’ll wish you would’ve started today”. Always seems obvious in hindsight-here’s to gaining perspective earlier!

  • This certainly puts things into perspective. We’re all still here because our work (in every sense of the word) isn’t finished yet.

  • Brandon says:

    Thanks for this, Chris. It’s interesting to hear someone such as yourself that’s doing so many amazing things in the world deals with this same issue.

    It really comes down to Now; Now is all there is.

    btw, you’ve still got 3 weeks of Summer left. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bill Polm says:

    Hear, hear! Great advise, which I will endeavor to take seriously, since I’m about 3 months from 70. Yikes!

    At first, with your title, I thought you were going to comment on religious and cults’ end-of-the-world date-setting!

    P.S. thanks again for your gracious help in the past (“Art + Money”). I’m on my way–see the website url above. I’m going to buy another of your books one of these days, maybe “Become a Travel Hacker” so I can begin my travel adventures in my 70s! Never too late, right?

  • Gene says:

    T-hanks Chris! You always
    I-nspire
    M-otivate and
    E-mpower

  • gwyn says:

    This thinking seems to be going around. Here on the east coast having had an earth quake and hurricane in the same week brought it to the fore for many. We never know how much time we have, so living fully is our responsibility!

    Easier said than done for some ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Gene says:

    PS – How do I get my mugshot on here??

  • Chris says:

    Gene – check out gravatar.com. It’s free and will follow you to other blogs as well.

  • Wonderful message and reminder. Thankfully, after reading your book, AONC earlier this year – I embarked on a journey to change, create and live my life to the fullest. Because of you, I have been inspired to go for my dreams and not let fear hold me back. The journey has only begun and there are many miles to go…but it feels good to have gotten started. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’re right, all we have is now…

  • Tracy says:

    Thanks for the reminder. Here in AZ I’m always saying, “when winter comes” because it will finally be cool enough to think. I’ll find something I can do NOW instead of waiting.

  • Mike Melia says:

    “the future’s uncertain . . . and the end is always near”
    From Roadhouse Blues by the Doors

    I’m living with my Dad who is under home hospice care.

    I think that the knowledge that tomorrow is not promised and our time is limited is vital to our well-being.

    Thanks to All

  • Kathryne says:

    I always dreamed of traveling. There was so much I wanted to see, and I was always going to do it ‘next year.’ I would talk about it with friends, research where i was going, but I never went. Then there was this year when four friends and two relatives died. One of those friends was an avid traveler and as he was dying of melanoma he sent me an email that said basically you never know if ‘next year’ is going to arrive, so you can talk about next year or you can just go. Don’t wait for people to go with you, don’t put it off for reasons that are really just excuses. Just go. So I did. I haven’t really stopped. Now I am applying that same philosophy to the rest of my life. Thanks Chris, for the reminder.

  • Gaston says:

    I try to remind myself constantly about this issue (i.e. time passing by), so as to avoid waking up one day at old age and realize that my entire life has gone by without me achieving anything.

  • Deborah A. says:

    Loved this post… short, sweet, true.

  • Jess says:

    Dang it. You got me. Thanks so much for the reminder.

  • Like Josh, Sept 1 for me is a time of remembering the death of a close friend’s son. In Australia it’s the start of spring – which seemed so ironic at the time. We were watching a baby die at a time of rebirth. A reminder perhaps of the cyclical nature of life. And as you point out, a reminder that life is short.

  • Candice says:

    The trick for me is to remember that I can’t do everything I want to do. There really aren’t enough minutes in my lifetime. So I have to decide which are most important, most fun, most impactful, and do them.

  • jonr says:

    Good reminder! And I think the trick is to realize how quickly time passes and how little time we have here on earth to do what we love – and then paradoxically, to feel as if we have unlimited time. It becomes much easier to savor and not feel stressed, and distant from the present. That sort paradoxical thinking actually helps me to be more productive, peaceful, and willing to help out.

  • Kim Kircher says:

    Indeed. Good reminder. Even when I plan to live each day as if it’s my last, I still let opportunities slip by. Have to be vigilant!

  • No matter what age you are, if you are not happy or don’t feel right about the way your life is going, stop, just stop and change it. Don’t listen to anybody but yourself. No one has the investment in your life that you do. I have personally done a lot of stupid stuff (by the so-called normal conventions). Sometimes it works out well, and sometimes not. If not, you at least learn that one thing does not work. Even now, I am still perfecting my own life style. The goal is to get to your last days and say, “that was fun.”

    As far as the hurricane and earthquake or any other fact of nature, we need to learn to live in harmony with nature. Nature is not out to get us although I know that people do lose their lives in these storms. One thing we need to do is to stop doing things that cause nature to respond in new and unique ways. I refer to climate change of course. Please support all of the efforts to reverse course and to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Chris, discovering your blog a year and a half ago, finding a model of someone truly doing what they love and making a (great) living AND making an impact, helped snap me into the realization that it was possible for me to do the same. Rather than settling for just what I’d been programmed to believe was possible.

    Since then, I’ve radically overhauled my life, created a new business I love, am impacting more people with my gifts, am making more art and music and writing, and am happier than I’ve ever been.

    Thank you for the regular reminders that the end is always near. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Big hugs,
    Melissa

  • Chris says:

    Melissa, thanks so much – I’m honored to hear that. All the best to you and everyone else out there too.

  • Charles says:

    What a reminder – my birthday is in the summer and it serves as a reminder, along with new years, what i have (or have not) accomplished. It really does feel like time is passing by and I am standing still. I want to participate but don’t know how or I’m too scared to do so…

  • Hana says:

    Here here! I was talking to a friend last night about just this… the older I get the more I feel this sense of urgency to make the most of every moment… not just to pursue joy and adventure – but I have been thinking more and more of what you wrote about in your book regarding legacy projects – to be intentional and to give back. I love this community you have created and the inspiration you provide to do just that. H xo

  • Josephine says:

    So true!. Death comes without warning- one of the four reminders in Buddhist practice-always keeps me on my toes. What really needs doing before you die is one of my favorite questions to myself. It helps to keep so much of what troubles me in good perspective.

  • piercival says:

    “It is not sensible to be afraid of ceasing to exist, since you already know what it is like not to exist; consider any time before your birthโ€”was it disagreeable not to exist? ..It is a confusion to be worried by your mortality, and it is an ingratitude to resent the limitations of life, like some greedy dinner guest who expects an indefinite number of courses and refuses to leave the table.”

    -The Epicurus Reader. Inwood, Brad; Gerson, Lloyd P.
    Hackett Publishing Co.

  • Brandy says:

    This summer! Wow. I can’t believe it’s practically over. How is it September already? Thanks, Chris. I needed this reminder today.

  • Diane says:

    Time appears to go faster as we get older because every year becomes a smaller & smaller percentage of our lifetime experience. When I was four it took FOREVER for my fifth birthday to arrive because I had to wait for an entire quarter of my life! Thanks for the great post, I needed the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diane says:

    PS: Gravatar is awesome – thanks for sharing that.

  • Daniel says:

    Boy do I know this.

    Last week I found out I have rectal cancer. This week I found out it may be stage 3 or 4. If you read my blog, you can see that I’ve had a couple of bad years. Bullied at work, hit by a car while crossing the street.

    Nothing. All of it nothing compared to what I’m dealing with. Why the hell deal with angst and useless conflict, when the end is always so close. The end of summer, the end of the year, the end of your life. It’s so close, and it’s our duty to ourselves to live every f’ing minute of it. I may have learned the lesson late…I’m only 32. But I didn’t learn it too late. It’s a lesson that you can never learn too late.

  • rob says:

    Indeed. Time is just flying by. I was in the “planning for next summer’s travel” mode yesterday and realized that this year wasn’t over. Did a little research and booked my flight to Trieste where I’ll embark upon my 10 days across the border in Croatia. Life is short. Take big bites!

  • Kate says:

    It has been almost 2 years since leaving the corporate world… living in joy and adventure and trying to not let the demon of “guilt” seep in, is a daily struggle. At this point, all I have is my truth to, hopefully, serve as an inspiration to others…

  • Joanna says:

    I need to hang this message in a prominent place as a reminder to get to doing, accomplishing, or at least moving toward my goals. This goes right next to another inspirational quote, “A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?” Thanks for another wonderful message.

  • jerry says:

    In the end, it will be things we didn’t do that we will regret more than the things that we did.

  • Amber Lewter says:

    This has really resonated with me recently. I turned 30, and felt the desire to help change the world.I was inspired by you, Danielle Laporte, Jon Morrow, and countless others to launch a web-based initiative to help people improve their relationships. Thanks for the motivation and well… a swift kick in the butt, so to speak.

  • Lauren says:

    Sitting in Vancouver, willing my first tomato of the entire summer to turn red…. have to agree!

    Screw you September, I’m wearing white pants ’til Christmas.

  • John Sherry says:

    I remember when I was younger there were people everywhere carrying, ‘The End is Nigh’ boards on the streets…and we’re still waiting!! The end will come about one way or the other but we need to focus on the start and how to make, and create, and enjoy, and develop. And live. The start is the art!

  • Bonnie Pond says:

    Thanks Chris, for such a poignant reminder. Although our time on this Earth is fleeting, we still have so many opportunities to live with inspiration and enthusiasm, using all of our gifts and talents. In my opinion, no one should spend their entire lives trapped in a job they hate, waiting until they can “retire” to start living and enduring a beige existence.

    We’re not promised tomorrow so slow down, think about what’s really important to you — and then do that! Find a way. No excuses. Enjoy every single moment you’re alive. Practice gratitude. Don’t let others (or The Big Fat Bully in Your Brain) talk you out of doing what you love. Go for it!

  • Sea says:

    Thanks! I needed that!

    Great blog! And a great way to live!

  • Sometimes easier said than done to beat the quicksand of procrastination, so here’s a quick hack: you don’t have to get everything completed in one go (unless someone passed a law about that recently), so it’s okay to fool your subconscious into tackling tasks by promising yourself that you’re only going to spend 5 minutes on them. Five minutes and then you’ll walk away and do something else, honest! You’d be surprised how gullible your subconscious is…it always falls for it.

  • One of my favourite quotes about this subject is by Oscar Wilde, but a friend trumped it. The Wilde quote is “I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do the day after.” My friend’s comeback was “Ah, but I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do today, because I might enjoy it…and then I can do it again, tomorrow.”

  • Pamela says:

    Thanks for the reminder that the time is now. I’d just been lamenting how fast my children are growing, how big they are getting and how the days of magic, glitter, fairies and superheroes are about gone. I am gonna miss those little kid days, but if I waste all my time being nostalgic, I’ll lose out on the wonders of today’s stages- which are also pretty cool. They’ll grow up with or without me, but I’d much rather be along for the ride. So far, it’s been a fun one.

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