A friend of mine called me today and said that his wife had a minor heart attack this week. Yikes! She's only around 50 years old and had no idea there was a problem. Thankfully it was not life-threatening, however it got me to thinking about the time we have and how we spend it. Until something like this happens to us, I've found that we tend to think of ourselves as immortal. "Yeah, my life isn't where I'd like it to be, but I'll worry about it tomorrow, or next week."
Unfortunately, often "next week" turns into "next month," then into "next year," and nothing gets worked on. Then before you know it, five, ten, or fifteen years have gone by and we haven't gotten to where we wanted to go. So, what's the answer? How can we "kick ourselves in the pants" so we can actually find the time to start moving forward to begin accomplishing the things we want in our lives? Well... having a heart attack seems pretty extreme to remind us of our mortality, yet I'm pretty confident if we were in touch with the fact that we didn't have "forever" to get it done, we'd be a little more anxious to get started.
I suspect if we examined things in our lives from the perspective of "we don't have all the time in the world," we'd be on the right track. Maybe we can turn more of our dreams into reality. No longer will our thoughts be... "Sure, I'd like a relationship, with someone but it can wait..." " Yeah, I know I haven't patched things up with my father, but I'll worry about it later..." "I can't stand my job, but I've plenty of time to get another one some time..."
Perhaps things will turn into, "I'm going to get serious about finding a relationship starting today," or "It's time to clear the air with my Dad," or even, "I'm going to find a job that I enjoy going to each day." I wonder what it would look like to make "someday," today. To be able to look at our lives and say, "Today's the day I'm going to make things better. Today's the day I'm going to deal with getting what I want out of life."
While this approach might be uncomfortable at first, ultimately I believe it can pay off big-time. By recognizing that we don't have "forever," it might motivate us to really take advantage of each and every day -- to make things happen for ourselves instead of putting them off. And perhaps in that way, allow us to live life to its fullest so we can create the lives we really want.
David Schwartz, M.S., LMFT
David brings a wealth of life experience to his therapy practice. In addition to his therapy training, David has been a self-motivated entrepreneur for over 20 years, as well as working as a producer in the television industry.
David Schwartz, MS., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist # 87261 -
30961 Agoura Rd., Suite 215, Westlake Village, CA 91361