"Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materialises. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift." - Mary Manin Morrissey
I am going to start this article by asking a question. How many days do you think you have to live? Try to have a rough guess without doing any calculations. Once you have had a guess, click on the link below to open a calculator which will tell you the answer based on your age now and the age you expect to live to.
DAYS TO LIVE CALCULATOR
Select your current age:
Select the age you expect to reach:
Approximate number of days left on Earth:
Why am I asking this question?
I wonder how many of us are putting off really living today because we think that somehow circumstances will be more favourable for happiness tomorrow. How many of us are too busy to fully express our love for our lover or our friends and family. We want to do that. We fleetingly think about doing something to express it, but today we are too busy or have too many 'problems' to deal with. We will do it tomorrow. How many of us are working so hard for a goal in the future that we forego experiencing joy and happiness now? We will make time to enjoy life later, we will have a rest and enjoy ourselves later, just as soon as we have accomplished goals a, b and c or solved problems x, y and z. We haven't time to enjoy ourselves now. There's so much to do!
It is interesting. Tonight I was invited round to the house of someone I love and whose company I always greatly enjoy. Yet I turned her down because I was too busy writing this article! I wonder how many of you think that I should have said to hell with the article and gone and enjoyed myself.
Western society greatly champions goal striving and the work ethic, but consider for a moment the possibility that there is absolutely no point striving for anything at all. Consider the possibility that goal striving will actually detract from the sum of your life's happiness. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that we can gain, achieve or possess that will make it easier for us to be happy in the future than it is right now. So if we are putting off experiencing love and joy right now because we think that somehow it will be easier to experience love and joy in the future when we achieve or gain something, or when we solve all our 'problems', then we are deceiving ourselves. We are needlessly throwing away some of our days which are meant to be lived joyously.
Does this mean that we should all just stay in bed all day? If you really love just staying in bed all day. then maybe. But I think in reality most people would get bored with that after a few days at the most. I think it does mean that we should take a good look at why we are doing what we are doing. If we take me as an example, I love writing. The feeling that the creation brings me is a high like no other, so maybe I was right to turn down that invitation on this occasion.
I propose using new criteria when we make decisions about what we choose to do each day. Which job should we choose? Should it be the one which pays well so that we can get more things to 'make us happy', or should it be something we love doing? If we are already in a job we don't love doing, how much attention should we give it? Should we work long hours as hard as we can, hoping to get a promotion and a raise so that we can get more things to 'make us happy'? Should we spend our time at home with our friends and loved ones further worrying about that job so that we are never really present and never really enjoy our leisure? Does our house really need to be spotlessly clean and tidy? Does this state allow us to experience joy or just assuage unnecessary guilt that was fabricated by our own misguided minds in the first place? If we can learn to experience love and happiness right now regardless of circumstances, exactly as we are, do we need to have or be anything more? Do we need to be more educated, more fit, more slim, more wealthy, more 'successful'?
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
I have put the word 'successful' in inverted commas because I would suggest that there is really only one true way of measuring success. Ask yourself: 'Am I happy right now?' If you can truthfully answer yes to that question, you are already as successful as you are ever going to be. If you cannot truthfully answer yes to that question, then you are probably doing something that you don't love doing. Maybe you should stop doing that and do something you do love doing, NOW!!
"This is what enlightenment is all about - a deep understanding that there is no problem. Then, with no problem to solve, what will you do? Immediately you start living. You will eat, you will sleep, you will love, you will work, you will have a chit-chat, you will sing, you will dance - what else is there to do?" - Osho
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