You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.Mae West

She is one of the original Naughty Girls of Hollywood.

What does that mean?
As the naughty vixen of the early talkies (movies with sound), she used this line as a calling card for her sensual side. However, this is a valid quote absent the innuendo. We do only live once, as far as our present consciousness knows. And the quote claims this is enough.

The trick, according to the quote, is to “do it right”. Mae implied that if you were naughty enough, you could experience it all in one lifetime. I would argue that you can lead a fulfilling life (as you define it) and do it all, if you are active and live your life.

Why is living your life important?  
If you don’t live your life, who will? It sounds like a smart-aleck answer, but think about it. If you are going to sit in a corner and hide from the world, who will live your life? Who will play your part if you refuse to participate?

Each of us have guiding principles, beliefs and moral codes that direct our lives. We don’t all follow the path of Mae West, but if we each follow our own path, and live our life, we can do all that matters within one lifetime. If we sit back and watch, refusing to participate, there is no number sufficiently large to live a fulfilling life. Does that make sense?

Where can I apply this in my life?
I tend to plan things to a level that could rightly be called Anal-Retentive. However, some people stop there. I do not believe that planning is an end, but a step in the process of living. To plan but not act is to cheat yourself of one of the most fulfilling steps in the process of life, the completion of a task.

What are some of the things you wish to do in your life? Try to come up with a couple big ones, a few medium sized ones and a bunch of smaller ones. Be sure to leave some space between each, as I would like you to spend some time thinking about each, and writing those ideas down.

For me, the big ones include seeing some of the great historical sites in Europe, as well as traveling the length of Japan. Some of the medium sized ones include attending graduation ceremonies for my kids and (in good time) spending time with my grand-kids. The little ones include more mundane tasks like working on my cars, doing some wood working, and getting better at editing videos.

Take some time and examine each of the items on your list. Take a little more time with the big ones, a little less with the little ones. Ask yourself why this item is important. Then ask why is this specific thing the best way to achieve what you are trying to do. This isn’t designed to change your mind, but to get you to consider why you want to do something and consider if there is a better way to get what you want.

As an example, if you’re young, perhaps you are considering becoming a doctor. If the best reason for “why?” is because your mom wants you to become a doctor, that might be a clue. If you’re in it for the money, perhaps you should examine the true costs of a medical practice and consider other career options. I hope that makes sense.

Now that you have some clarity about some of the things you want to do in your lifetime, take a moment to update anything you wrote so that you can really zero in on what is important.

Select one of the items and start to make a plan. Break it down into steps and then start making notes as to what will be the hardest part of each step. Do you need to get some cash for air-fare? Do you need a passport? Do you need to learn a language (or at least enough to get by)? Are there things you don’t know how to do, that you’ll either need to learn or hire out?

Figure out what the first few steps you will take are, and break them down even further. Put a rough estimate next to each task for how long it will take and what other resources it might require. If you are planning a trip next summer and plan to learn a foreign language, you might want to start that sooner, rather than later, right?

You have your plan coming together, but now comes the most critical step, taking action. Select something on the list and do it right now. Convince yourself that you are going to do it, and silence the doubts before they get started. And remember to live your life with passion!

From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/maewest109701.html
Photo by twm1340

About KC King

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in accomplishment, doing, effort, potential, procrastination, self knowledge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

  1. Pingback: #YOLO | Interior monologues

Leave a Reply