“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
“In twenty years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.” – Mark Twain
Last night, I had the opportunity to watch the Leonid Meteor Shower. The meteors were a bit of a bust (I only saw two shooting stars), but it was definitely worthwhile. The wind was calm, the air was chill, the stars were like tiny, shining torches set into an immense, cosmic dome, and I found a sort of inner serenity. (Yes, even at two in the morning!)
I almost decided to skip it and get a good night’s sleep instead. I might have woken this morning, refreshed, drank my coffee, and went about my customary routine of a typical day.
I’m so glad I didn’t. I would have missed out on a breathtaking experience.
It is important, I think, for us to consciously go about life looking for ways to really live. Not follow our usual, humdrum patterns, or stick stubbornly to the monotony of that which is familiar. In your final hours, are you going to be satisfied that you managed to get in a lot of extra overtime? Or that you coasted through days, weeks, or months at a time in a familiar rut of efficient, but mind-numbing, activities?
No! You’re going to remember the times that you felt alive.
Take the time to go out and experience the wonder of the stars, or go skydiving, or scuba diving, or camping in the wilderness for three days with nothing but a knife and a blanket. Help someone who could use a hand, strive to learn a new skill, or spend quality time with your family. Do something that breaks the tedium. Do things – hard things, exciting things, challenging things, reflective things, peaceful things. Go experience something that makes you feel like you’ve never been more alive.
Life’s an adventure, people, but only if you make it one. The finite amount of time that you spend here will either be a worthwhile journey or dull pattern, and the result is entirely up to you.