I was listening to Steven Covey the other day and he was talking about an assignment he gave his students. He told them to envision that this was their last semester on earth, the scenario maintained that they had to stay in school, and determine how they would chose to live. What they might do with their time and how they might live the next few months was the task. This is the same type of exercise as “living as if you were dying” in my opinion.
When faced with this scenario, the students, chose to do things differently with their limited time, as one would expect. They chose to spend their days differently and chose different classes – they got more serious about school and what they wanted to learn. They also became more focused on confirming their personal relationships. They made sure they used their time for serious matters and did not waste it as sometimes youth may do.
This exercise made me re-think if living each day as if it were numbered limits the freedom of being carefree or maybe even a little frivolous with your time. I can see this quite vividly in the case of college students as I have two in my household. I urge them each to be aware that time is a gift, but at the same time, I know they are living as college students, and not as though their days are numbered. This allows them a bit of levity in their days and to focus on the entire college experience which most definitely contains a bit of frivolity! All the lessons to be learned while in college do NOT happen in the classroom!
Since I believe there is a value for others, I see there is value for me to be maybe just a little less serious about time and how much I may or may not have. So I begin to search for the balance. Living my life in a manner that will create the legacy I wish to leave behind, living presently and in the moment all the while planning to be around for a long time, and making sure that I can maintain and support myself in the way that I wish to live.
It is interesting to me that having lived my days so long trying to make sure I could squeeze everything out of each one, that maybe I was missing my days. I am a youngest, so a little of the “I don’t want to miss anything” comes from missing things since I was too young to do what others were doing. I also grew up with a mother that was very sick off and on throughout my entire life (hence “tomorrows are not guaranteed” is indelibly impressed upon me). However, maybe I’ve been too concerned about making sure I don’t miss any opportunity that I’ve missed the opportunity and the lessons that come from being irresponsible and a bit frivolous sometimes.
Hmmm, food for thought!