You Only Have Everything To Lose

You’re probably wondering what do I mean when I say “You only have everything to lose” and what am I referring to? 

I’m referring to your life. You only have everything to lose if you don’t live a fulfilling life. Imagine for a minute that you’re very old and close to death. You’re looking back on a life of eighty-plus years and what do you see?… Missed opportunities, failures, dissatisfaction, unhappiness, hatred, regrets? A desire for more time to do some of those projects you had always wanted to do? Or do you see a life full of accomplishments, successes, love, incredible experiences, satisfaction and completion? Does your heart grow warm with the fondness of memories or cold with regret? 

You’ve just imagined looking back on a life that maybe twenty or fifty years longer than you’ve currently lived, and there’s plenty of time to get stuff done, but now imagine that you’ve been told you’ll die tomorrow. Look back on your current life and see how you feel. Maybe more regrets and more missed opportunities, maybe not as many incredible experiences as you’d have hoped for. 

So what can be done about it? The answer is everything. This life is all we have. You can look around at all the possessions you “own”, but they’re all only on lease, because you give them back when you die. Your life is what matters. How you feel, the joy, the happiness, the feeling of growth and excitement are what you’ll keep forever. 

I often hear people say that they will begin a certain (fun) project when something’s complete, for example, “I’ll take that painting class after I’ve bought my new house.” or “I’ll go to Mexico after I’ve lost 10 pounds.” These may not be the greatest examples, but you get the idea. 

The worst kind of procrastination is to put off the feeling of self-worth. I’ll be happy when I have a new job. I’ll be happy when I lose ten pounds. I’ll be happy when I’m in Mexico. What happens when you reach these milestones and you’re still not happy? You set new milestones and by the time you’re eighty, you still have milestones that are not yet reached… and then you die… unhappy.

 You can decide to be happy today. Sure there are goals that you want to reach and experiences you want to have, but your happiness need not hinge on the completion or not of these goals.

 I constantly remind myself that today is a great day to be alive. That I’m thankful for today and all the wonderful things I have today. I realize that I am indeed very lucky today and everyday and I am thankful for all the little details – a butterfly, a kind gesture, a smile, thanks, my daughter laughing – that make it great. That’s what makes me happy, even when everything doesn’t go to plan. 

It’s important to live today and enjoy today. Make the most of the time you have, this time… now. Putting everything off for a future date does not ensure it gets done. It doesn’t ensuyre a life full of rich experiences. Doing it today, does. Why not do it today? What do you have to lose other than everything?

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