Somebody should tell us right at the start of our lives that we’re dying, and we might live life to the limit… – Pope Paul VI
What does that mean?
This quote, like so many on Twitter, has been shortened to fit in the space allotted. A longer version is:
“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
Now remember, this is the Pope talking, so he’s not saying to just do anything you feel like doing. But he is urging us to do the things we frequently put off until a later date.
The problem with that is sometimes we don’t get to that later date. Time slips away, or events beyond our control change things. And then we are left with regrets, for all the things we wanted to do, but never did.
Why is seizing the day important?
In Latin, that is ‘carpe diem,’ a phrase made famous (in the modern day, at least) by the film Dead Poets Society, staring Robin Williams. We will never know what is going to happen tomorrow, nor will we know if we will still be here when tomorrow arrives.
Other translations of carpe diem run more along the lines of enjoy or make complete use of the day. No matter which translation you use, all of them seem to be reminding us to do something with the time we have, and not waste it. Sadly, far too many of us do just that.
We waste large chunks of the day doing nothing. Or, worse yet, being busy doing something which is not important. Whether through inaction or busy work, time slips away, and we don’t do the things which really matter to us. And that is what the quote is about, doing what is important to us.
Does anyone want to ‘live life to the limit’ because the boss said you had to get edgy with your next spreadsheet or presentation? Perhaps you really enjoy what you are doing, but most of us only push that hard for the things which are important to us. Yes, we have guidelines, but we also have things we need to do. Don’t wait too long!
Where can I apply this in my life?
Take a moment and consider how often you put things off. Not chores, but the good things, the meaningful things. How often do you include a phrase like “I’ll do that tomorrow” or “It can wait”? These, and related phrases, are the sound of you disobeying this quote. You aren’t doing it now.
I realize there is only so much ‘now’ available. We can’t do everything at once. Priorities need to be set and decisions have to be made. But at some point on that list of priorities we have to carve out a niche for us, for our needs.
There is a Country song called “Live like you were dying” which is about the bucket list of things he did, after he heard from the doctor that “this might really be the real end.” At that point, he finally realized the heart of this quote. He went out and did what he’d always wanted to do.
Take a moment and consider the things you have been putting off. Yes, a trip to a distant foreign land might be a bit expensive. But there are probably a few smaller scale things you can get done. My wife wants to visit Italy. Not in next years budget. But she’s learning the language.
What are some of the smaller things, or more easily done things, or the quicker (or shorter duration) things on your to do list? If even those are too big, too difficult, or time consuming, can you find an approximation? As an example, my wife is learning a language, and eating some of the food.
What are some of the things you can do to seize the day, or at least enjoy it a little more? What do you need to do to prepare for that? If you wanted to climb a mountain, you might need to get some power-walking in, and climb a few smaller hills, and work your way up, right?
As a kid, I used the “I’ll ask her next time” as an excuse for not asking girls out on dates. Putting things off became a habit for me, one which can still get me from time to time. Do you have a habit to break? Can you do something small right now to help break that habit?
Don’t let time slip through your fingers. Find the courage, and Carpe Diem!
From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/popepaulvi120383.html
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