Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I was 29 years old when I lost one of my best friends. I think about him a lot.
Sometimes, thinking about him makes me sad and depressed. I think about the hole him being gone has left in me. Maybe I’m selfish for thinking how much I miss him.
There are times when I remember a funny moment we shared or a ridiculous trait he had and I laugh. His zest for life and determination to succeed are my inspiration.
He had only 29 years when he died, but we enjoyed a good 17 years of solid friendship. We were 12 years when I realized that we were living on the same street, so I introduced myself to him in class, and we started going together to and from school.
And that’s how our wonderful friendship began. I can remember spending entire evenings together, listening to music, hitting tennis balls, and talking about girls. My friend and I shared a lot of first times – the first time we went on a holiday without parents, the first time we had serious girlfriends, the first time we had our own homes, the first time our girlfriends broke our hearts, and the first time one of us became a father – him.
We laughed, we celebrated, we supported each other, we cried, we got into mischief, we did everything best friends do together and for each other.
His name was Brian, and he loved his life. He always had a funny story or joke to tell. He was the first one to hit the dance floor. He was everyone’s favorite person. I felt, and I still feel honored to call him my friend.
I spent so many days thinking about how unfair life is to have him gone so young. At the same time, I know cancer doesn’t know age or personality.
Most of the time, however, thoughts about Brian clear and calm my mind. My problems suddenly feel small and insignificant. I start seeing everything from a new perspective because I realize how precious life is.
Accept That Life Is Fragile
Life is fragile, and that’s the truth. We are all witnesses of loved ones passing away if we’re here long enough to see it.
We can never know how much time we have left to spend with our loved ones. We can never have guarantees. We can never know if the way we feel today will be the same way we’ll feel tomorrow. We can never know if what we can do today will be the same we can do tomorrow. We can never know if our health and wealth today will be the same the next morning.
Accepting that life is fragile can be scary, but it can be empowering as well. It can help us realize that we should make the most of every day and always choose positivity. It can help us realize that we should live every day as if it’s our last.
Focus on The Things You Want
People often complain that they don’t have enough time to pursue their dreams and goals while choosing to live a busy lifestyle. Many of us postpone so many things as if we’ll live forever.
The new skill we “promise” to learn the next year.
The book we put off another year to write.
The trip we wanted to go in the last three years, or longer…
We postpone so many things in life, and we do it too often.
If we don’t forget that life is finite, we’ll focus more on the things we like, and we’ll make better use of our life.
Although being ambitious is a good thing, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the small victories on our way to success. We should be more aware of the present instead of focusing on the past or future.
I happen to travel a lot, mostly because my wife has a travel bug, so I got to experience another world. I travel more than most people because that’s our priority. Although I get to see all these beautiful places I never thought I could visit, I don’t take it for granted.
Whenever I get to a new place, I take a moment to appreciate what life has given to me. I think about how lucky I am to experience all this, and I think about my friend and other people that aren’t so fortunate. I’m grateful, and I try to embrace that feeling fully to experience every place I visit on a deeper level.
I try to remember this feeling in other situations in life as well. That helps me realize how small and insignificant my problems are.
My phone battery is dying, and I forgot my power bank.
I didn’t have time to make myself a coffee and I can’t get my regular cappuccino from my favorite café on the way to my work.
As you can see, these are all first world problems, and there are so many people in a more difficult situation than I am.
I try to keep this in mind, so I don’t take the precious gifts life has given me for granted. I try not to complain about things like these because they are just minor inconveniences and annoyances.
I don’t say I always succeed in this, but the important thing is that I try. Being more grateful for the things and people I already have in my life has helped me keep perspective.
Try to Let Things Go
Envy, regret, disappointment, hate, and anger can all become toxic emotions that can eat us up. We shouldn’t hold onto any of these emotions as they are not useful for anything.
I often take inspiration from others, but I try not to compare too much because I can easily become an envious person. I have to make sure this doesn’t happen.
So, if I start feeling envy for someone that I think is more successful than me or goes to places I’ve never been, I remind myself that I don’t really know how this person feels. I don’t know their story or the sacrifice they had to make to achieve their success. I don’t know if that person is truly happy or just pretending, using a smile to mask their self-doubt and insecurity. That’s how I no longer want to compare and focus on my own journey.
It’s the same thing with regret. I’ve tried so hard to avoid this emotion. Just like every human being, I also make mistakes I wish they never happened. My careless words or foolish acts have hurt my loved ones, but if I beat myself up time and time again for the mistakes I’ve made, I won’t fix anything. Instead, I’ll just spend precious time in my life that will never return.
I believe in life, and I’m still a work in progress. I can use the lessons I will learn to make a better version of myself.
Perhaps seeing life from this perspective is part of the maturing process. Perhaps it’s because I realized how lucky I am to live this life and let go of these emotions as they are only wasting my time and focus.
However, I’m still learning, and I do get frustrated or angry at things I shouldn’t. Sometimes I carry a grudge more than I should. Sometimes I overreact. Sometimes I’m disappointed by people although I know it’s probably because I expected too much. I learn to let things go every day, and I know I still have a lot to learn.
Being grateful for the life we get to live will remove the negativity from our lives. We’ll realize that we should let go of some things that just don’t matter.
Make Time for People That Really Matter
Being aware that life is finite will help us prioritize. Sometimes, we have to say no to some people or things just to say yes to other more important ones.
In other words, we have to make time for our friends, family, and ourselves. We should try to spend some quality time with our loved ones when we’re fully present with the people around us. For this to happen, 5 minutes snatched while looking at the TV or phone screen is not enough.
When it comes to making time for ourselves, we should do anything that makes us happy, like meditation, listening to music, or long walks.
Fleeting Moments in Time
Being aware that we’re in this world only temporarily should make us apply a sense of clarity and purpose to each and every day of our lives.
We need to spend more time with our loved ones.
We need to spend more time on our own.
We need to spend more time on making our dreams a reality.
Even though working hard is something to admire, we should make time to celebrate our small successes and enjoy the journey.
Make the most out of these precious and fleeting moments in time!