Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. – Elbert Hubbard
What does that mean?
Too many people seem to take life so very seriously. This quote advises us against that path, urging us to loosen up a little bit and have some fun.
Why, you ask? The quote says because no one gets out alive. And that is true, all who are born will eventually die. So what is to be gained by being overly serious?
The quote implies that nothing is to be gained by taking life too seriously. It’s not a game you will win, after all. There is no special prize for the most serious player.
Instead, the quote implies that we should relax and have some fun while living. Be serious when it is required, but not all the time. Enjoy yourself.
Why is not taking life too seriously important?
How much fun would you have if everyone around you was busy being serious? Never taking a risk or a chance, never taking a dare or tying something new? Always playing it save and never doing anything exciting? Would you want to have that person as a friend? Would they be a blast at a party or on a camping trip?
Why would someone be like that? If they were very focused on being the absolute best possible at something, then they would be busy working diligently on perfecting that aspect of their life. But if they’re taking all of life too seriously, then they might decide to do it for every part of their life.
While it is possible to take life with too little seriousness, that isn’t usually a problem for most people, with the possible exception of their late teens and early twenties. After that, most of us settle down and get busy with having a life. And that’s a good thing, so long as we remember to do it in moderation.
Yes, we’re talking about being serious, but only in moderation. But who likes to be too serious all of the time, in all the different aspects of their lives? That almost sounds like a personal problem, one which this quote warns us against. But are we willing to listen?
Where can I apply this in my life?
We’ve all seen it, even if only in movies or TV shows. The young ladder-climber, focused on working their way up the corporate ladder at any cost. Everything has to be exactly perfect, nothing is too small, no hour too late, and always ready to do more. But what kind of a life do they really have?
Some call it the quality of their life, or work/life balance. Those who take life too seriously usually have a poor quality of life or an out of balance life. That isn’t terribly fun, is it? By taking the parts seriously which should be taken seriously, and having fun in the other times, we become more balanced.
But when should we be serious? Should we be serious at work? Not if you are a professional comedian or a clown, right? The point I am trying to make is that when to be serious is a very personal decision. Who you are, and how you live your life are key parts of determining when to be serious and when to be something else.
There will also be times when our normal pattern is disrupted. If the boss says business isn’t good, and there may be some belt tightening or layoffs, it might be a good idea to get at least a little more serious at work, right? And when family members start taking issue with your frivolity, it might be time to get a little more serious at home.
I’ve had times when I’ve been too serious, and plenty of times when I haven’t been serious enough. We all go through cycles, ups and downs. But if we keep an eye on how things are going and make adjustments when needed, we should be good. Because life is all about change, and we need to be able to adapt, right?
Where in your life might you be taking things a little too seriously? Please take a moment and come up with a couple of things. How did you come to those conclusions? What was your clue? Did other people hint that you were taking things too seriously? Or did you notice your life wasn’t balancing the way you hoped it would?
What about the areas in your life where you might not be taking things seriously enough? Please take a moment and come up with a couple of possibilities. Did other people hint that you were being too silly? Were you not getting the results you desired due to you not being sufficiently serious or focused on the goal?
For me, life is about balance. I try to adjust what I take seriously and what don’t changes whenever I notice I;m out of balance. What is your balance point? What do you need to become more serious about? What do you need to take less seriously? Life is full of choices, opportunities to change things. What will you choose to change in your life?