SOMETIMES WHEN I’M TRYING to make a decision, I’ll think about how it would sound if I was reading about it in a book about someone else’s life.
Would I admire them? Would I think them foolhardy? Would I wish they would have gone for it?
You have to trust that following your instincts to questions like these will lead you to the kind of person you want to become.
I’ve seen a lot of people become preoccupied with finding ways to avoid death that they never really live at all, for fear of dying, and get caught in this Catch-22.
Likewise, so many people get caught up in securing and protecting their belongings and their children, that they never really enjoy them to begin with. People who buy things just “to have” kind of freak me out, to be honest.
I think these people must not like endings or goodbyes.
Our lives are special because they have very finite frames – the beginning, and the end. Front page, back page. What your life becomes is how you choose to fill those pages. A photograph is beautiful because it has a border. It is specific in its purpose.
You don’t even have to succeed in everything you attempt to fill them with. People admire character more than they do success. In fact, it’s No. 1 on Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling (a good reference guide if you’re trying to figure out your life, actually).
Failure can be painful, but if you realize that the people around you actually admire you more for having the chutzpah to go after your dreams, it can make the hurt sting a little less.
It’s a common saying that when you die your whole life flashes before your eyes. Give yourself something good to watch. Something you can smile at.
I wish you all the best in making your lives really good.
Photo this week: Taken in a tiny village in South Korea.