The other day I had one of my “ceiling-inspired life-changing epiphanies.”
(Neffi’s Ceiling Inspired Ephiphany. (n) When I’m laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling and I get some idea, or figure out the answer to a mind busting question and immediately feel like Gandhi, or Frederick Douglass, or some other great wise philosopher.)
I had just finished overhearing a conversation outside my window…ok, yes: I was eavesdropping..leave me alone, lol. It’s not my fault they talk loud enough and my window happens to be conveniently cracked for clear listening! Anyway lol, one of the guys was ranting about not having time for the drama because “life is too short.” I thought to myself, “Good job loud neighbor, that’s right, leave drama to those who ‘have time for it!’ but umm who told you that life is short?”
I hear that quote all the time and I used to say it too (before my epiphany), and I just had to think to myself who started this phrase? Who says life is short? My friend the internet, phrases.org, says the quote “life is short” dates all the way back to the 1800’s. I’m not surprised that they would be the ones to start a phrase like life is short, average life expectancy was a lot shorter back then lol.
Now it is true that we are only here on Earth temporarily, but do we have to feel like we’re on a time crunch? I don’t want to feel like that. I have only scratched the surface of where I want to be in life. Does this mean that I don’t have much time? I don’t like it.
My problem with the the phrase “life is short” is that not only does it do a terrible job at motivating us to have the lives we want, it’s also pretty limiting. What’s the proof that life is short?
If life actually was short, it should be fine if it sucked and didn’t work out how we wanted it to right? It would be like ripping off a bandaid, getting it over with. You’d be born, spend your short amount of time living in the mediocrity, and then die. Sounds a little harsh right? Sorry not sorry. If it was in fact like that you’d never experience discomfort and unhappiness long enough to really get properly sick of it and make change in your life. You’d never learn the lessons that come with time and in turn make you a better person, because the truth is you can put up with just about anything if it’s for a short amount of time.
But life is NOT short and that is what frees us up to do what we really want, and create the lives we really want. While we can put up with suffering, unhappiness, or dissatisfaction for short periods of time, we are much less willing to be dissatisfied or in unhappy or uncomfortable phases of life for decades or longer. The real motivator is knowing that life is long and you don’t have to over-rush yourself. You have time to live, love, make mistakes, make even worse mistakes, learn and learn some more, achieve your goals and dreams, and really live this thing to the fullest.
Life is the longest thing we will ever experience and its length is probably one of the only things we can’t be certain of, so we shouldn’t just declare it short. Some of us will live to our late 80’s and 90’s, some more, and some less. I personally pray to live a healthy fruitful life till at least 90! Things might be looking up for me too because I took a life expectancy quiz the other day and it gave me an estimate of 97 lol! Woop Woop!
Life is only short if you believe it to be that way. Make every moment count, and it will seem epic, fulfilling, and a never-ending adventure.
When people use the phrase “life is short” they tend to mean anything from: Don’t waste your energy on things that are meaningless, or, stop spending so much time just existing that you miss milestones and important opportunities. It could also mean we could be “here today and gone tomorrow” or that we won’t have enough time to see or experience everything we want to accomplish so plan accordingly. Or simply literally, we don’t know how long we will live and it can be a short time. It can even be used positively like when people say “life is too short to be unhappy.” Though in my experience, when it is said it is usually used as an excuse for something irresponsible you’ve done, or when you are dismissing a problem or situation you should be dealing with; it seems to always be connected to negative emotion. The bottom line is none of those interpretations of “life is short” have to apply to you if you change your perspective and see life as a long journey of opportunity.
Think of life as your party, which of these spaces in the two pictures below do you think you could throw a better party in?
I’m going with Will Smith on the bottom. The room is way bigger and much more opportunity to make the party as poppin’ as I can. It’s your life, plan your party!
Life is long and it’s not only about age, it’s about what you make of your life in the time you are here! Don’t focus on length, but instead focus on quality. Are your days filled with what you want them to be filled with? Are you rushing yourself to beat some sort of clock or are you taking your time? Don’t fall into the “life-is-short” mentality. The finished product is beautiful but so is the journey; believe me. Be present in your lives everyday. Take your time, make mistakes, learn lessons, and sow into your growth as a person.
Love Ya, Neffi