Advice, Motivation

Should you live like you’re dying or live for the future?

This is a constant battle I face. On one hand, I need to prepare for my future. I need to do well in school, do well in my job, graduate, get a job, get a house, and so on. On the other hand, I could die tomorrow or in a week or in a month, so why am I wasting my precious time doing things that I would really rather not be doing?

I know better than most that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, but I constantly focus on my future, rather than my present. My mind is always thinking of my next step, sometimes before I have even taken the step before that one. I have a plan. I have structure, and it makes me feel secure.

I am not the type of person to “go with the flow.” I am not a risk-taker. I almost never do spontaneous things. That’s just not my personality. As I sit here and type I am still trying to figure out if that’s a good or bad characteristic to have…

If someone came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go skydiving, I wouldn’t think twice before saying, “Not a chance,” and that’s not just because I am terrified of heights. I need to mentally prepare myself for something like that. Not to mention that I have work and class tomorrow. Plus I should do my homework, I mean, I told myself that I would do homework after class tomorrow, and if I don’t then I really don’t know when I’ll be able to get it done.

See, the excuses are just flowing out of me, and this is a completely made up scenario.

I have my life figured out (or at least I think I do for now), and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am prepared for tomorrow, but if I died tomorrow, would I be happy with what I left behind? Would I be content with how I left my life or would I have regrets and want to live it all over again?

That’s the key. Would you want to live it all over again? If the answer is yes, then you need to start to live like you’re dying. No, I don’t mean drop out of school and travel the world, but you do need to start being spontaneous. Go for an adventure. (If you’re not sure how to get started, refer to one of my posts from earlier this month 😉 )

If you’re not like me, meaning you’re spontaneous, you don’t think about tomorrow, you “go with the flow,” and you only live for today, then I have some advice for you. Ten, maybe even 15, years from now, will you regret anything? Will you regret dropping out of school? Will you regret not taking life seriously? I’m sure you won’t regret all the adventures you took, but will you regret not planning for your future? You can (and will)  have regrets about not planning for your future; the same regrets that others may have about not living in the present.

Should you live like you’re dying or live for your future?

The answer to the question is: both. You need to plan for your future. You need to be prepared to think about where you will be 10 years from now, and you need to figure out how you will get there. But you also have to live in the present. You need to take a day of work just to go for a hike somewhere. You need to go on that trip that you’ve always wanted to go on, wherever that may be. You need to make sure you don’t wish you did more or less when your time on this earth is up.

You have to find a balance. Take the time to make sure your life will be just as great 10 years from now as it is today. Have a plan, but don’t be afraid to take a detour every once in a while. You have to live like you’re dying AND live for the future.

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