‘Man is born to live, not to prepare for life.” – Boris Pasternack
In order to wake up from an unsatisfying life, you must do what is best for you. “I regret nothing” is what Miranda Carroll in Station Eleven repeats to herself on a daily basis, after finally leaving Arthur and facing the world on her own. Though terrified at first, eleven years later Miranda is head of a shipping business, over-tipping and travelling the world. She took charge, took a leap for herself and reaped all the benefits that the decision had to offer. You are no different. Your “I regret” list should be short or non-existent, because though you may be alive, if you are regretting there is no way you are living.
Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg created this inspirational video that was presented at a TED conference. The video is six minutes, but you will discover that it is possible to have your outlook on life changed completely in that short amount of time. It exudes motivation, with quotes such as, “You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift.”
Life is a gift and too many people drag it through the mud and leave it to collect dust on shelves of regret. “What if” situations become ghosts that follow you around relentlessly. The most important thing when it comes to taking charge of your life is to not let fear stop you. Chances need to be taken in order to learn, and though that may be scary, it is also essential. Dream big, dare bigger. Love every minute of your life because you are doing exactly what you want to.
It’s important to feel fulfilled. Asking yourself questions periodically, like “am I enjoying myself” or “why am I doing this” force you to stop and analyze your process so far. Think about who you’re doing what for, and whether looking back you would understand the action’s purpose. There’s no point in trying to trick yourself into believing in what you are doing, because the only person you’re fooling is yourself. And as a result the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Be open to new experiences and taking risks, but always make sure that you are the pilot of your experiences.
Life doesn’t just happen. It’s moments made up of laughter and tears and dancing and running and being exactly where you need to be for you. You have one chance at this crazy rollercoaster that is living and it is essential that it doesn’t go to waste. Don’t take any moment for granted, and learn to appreciate even the stillest of silences. It’s important not to sleepwalk, because the longer that you do, the harder it becomes to wake up.
There are only two days in your life that are not 24 hours. You need to ask yourself, every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep, “Am I regretting nothing? Am I living?”.
Station Eleven is a novel all about the power of perseverance and the strength of the human will. The following is a link to the author, Emily St. John Mandel’s website, because I personally have a whole new outlook on life – one that has changed the way I look at my own: http://www.emilymandel.com/stationeleven.html
Station Eleven demonstrates that even in the toughest of scenarios, humanity is beautiful and pure, and life is meant to be lived to the fullest.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!