Wednesday, December 26, 2012

seize the day


I wish I’d had the courage to live life true to myself, not how others expected of me. I wish I didn’t work so hard. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

These are the top 5 regrets people say aloud whilst on their deathbed. Having regrets is a regret in itself, but all of us here have the opportunity, right now, to wipe away the possibility of having these thoughts. 

Turning 18 recently has made me realise that my whole life, right up until this moment, is simply the beginning. Every second is a new start to the next part of our life, with every second comes a new opportunity, a new chance to start afresh.

Have you ever felt like you haven’t done anything with your life? Like a whole week has passed by without anything worthwhile happening? I used to, all the time. I constantly made the excuse that I was too busy. That having school and other responsibilities was too time consuming, and I would get around to everything else, “someday”. 

Here’s the reality that I have only very recently realised- if you’re busy now, you may still well be just as busy in a year’s time, so why wait? Why not start enjoying life now? Life is going to transpire, whether we like it or not, and instead of letting this happen, instead of letting the days fly by, forgotten, make your time more memorable.

All it takes is little steps. Small challenges, small goals. Give every day just a tiny bit of meaning. Why not give something new a shot for a week? Or even 30 days? Think of something you have always wanted to do, and do it. The desires you have at the moment may not ever pass, but time will.

How many of us here reflect on each day? I know I don’t, a lot of the time there isn’t much to reflect on. Just imagine if you did something that had a point, every single day. Imagine looking back at your year and remembering April as the month you trained for a marathon, September as the month you gave up junk food. Think back to February, what did you do? What happened in that month? If the answer is ‘nothing’, aim to make your next February a month to remember. Daily challenges, weekly challenges, or even monthly challenges, could literally change your life.

Life is scary. Life is a big open space that we are left to fill and most people only take up a miniscule portion.  No matter how young or old we are, no matter how much of life we have experienced, there will always be room to fill. We never know where life will take us, where will you be in a year? We look to the past and the future so often, but what about the present? Instead of thinking about tomorrow, think about right now. Think about what you can do in that exact moment, that exact place, that will add a spark to your day

Don’t let yourself have regrets. Make the most of every moment you have. I’m not suggesting to ‘live every day as it was your last’, but rather, live every day so you don’t forget it. Memories are all we have once something is gone, so why not make them great?

J. 

[This is part of a speech I wrote, that won me a public speaking award at a YOTY quest]

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