You need to ask yourself: “When I’m looking back on my life, from my deathbed, which one of these options will I regret not doing the most?” Use that answer to helpfully guide you. In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware shares that the number one regret in life is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Because here’s how I think about it.
One day I will die. One day you will die. Furthermore, one day our grandparents will die and our parents will die and our kids will die and their kids will die and their kids will die and their kids will die. The guy cutting you off in traffic? He’ll die. The lady calling you at dinner selling you a credit card? She’ll die. The cashier at the grocery store? Dead. Every teacher you’ve ever had, everyone who’s ever woken up beside you, every actor in every movie, every politician in every country, will all be dead. In the blink of an eye.
The average lifespan is 30,000 days.
That time is always, always ticking.
And you will never be as young as you are right now.
So what does that mean?
Well, you have two choices.
You can either be horribly depressed by this thought.
You can feel as though nothing really matters since we are all ashes to ashes and dust to dust in the end. The game is already over! What’s the point of this? Of anything? Who cares? Why try? Or, if you do care or do try, maybe it’s because you feel like this weird life on Earth thing is some kind of ‘waiting room’ or ‘test’ towards a higher ideal or better place where we live for infinity after this life is done.
You can be incredibly liberated by this thought.
We are all going to die! So? This really matters. This! Right here. It really matters. Today really matters. The voicemail you leave for your mom? It really matters. The note you put in your kids lunch? It really matters. Putting you phone away to really connect with your family over dinner? It really matters. The smile you share with a neighbor? It really matters. The art you’re making? The risk you’re taking? The cake you’re baking?
It really matters.
It really matters.
Likewise, it really matters.
All of it.
Because there’s not much time.
So in this limited time we have here, in the limited minds we have here, all swimming somewhere inside this vast expanding universe - which, we have no idea what it even is and how it got here and why we got here - our only job, duty, and goal is to live every single day like it is so precious and beautiful a unique and rare and fleeting and finite.
Because it is.
And because this matters.
The choice of being horribly depressed or incredibly liberated is up to you.