Life is only once. How many times have we actually heard the phrase? We are a teenager only once in our life time. Our 20s, 30s, 40s….once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. But we never really think “Life is only once” when we are young. We especially take it for granted that we have plenty of time when we are young. We feel like our life will last forever so naturally that we cannot imagine it will come to an end someday. But no one can escape from aging, turning 60, 70… Then many of us bitterly regret at some point of in life. Only a small percentage of lucky people would say, “I didn’t live to regret the days of my life. I had a fruitful life” when looking back their lives.
Why some regret, while some do not? What divides the two groups? There would be a number of answers to it, but I personally believe the difference is whether you have ever thought about dying seriously.
The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., explains this with his famous speech at Stanford University.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
(middle part omitted)
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. (excerpt from Stanford News)
Mr. Jobs’s words stab us to our hearts. It might be because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a death sentence. “Death” is usually distant unless you are the elderly, but once you face the fact of your own mortality, regardless of age, you are forced to realize that human beings will age, will get sick, and will die.
Do you think your time is not left that much? If so, do what YOU think is truly important. There would be no time to be swayed by others. That is the way of thinking for those who fully grasp the significance of “Life is only once”.