Life is Short, Live It Now

by Alli Polin on May 14, 2014

Life is short, Live It Now.  Stop waiting, the time is now.

My son was sick this week and out of school.  That meant not only did I struggle to get much work done, but also constant movies on the TV, playing multiplication games on iPad, reading books, and relaxing together.  In the late mornings, I drank coffee while he had hot tea out of one of my favorite mugs.  The rim says “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”

He read the mug with his first sip, looked at me and asked why it would say life is short when it’s so long?  We have at least another 70, 80, 100 years!  I told him that he does, he’s eight after all, but I don’t.  Life is too short and we have to make the most of the time we have.  He looked at me and cried.  He doesn’t want our adventures to end and neither do I.  Gee, I’m a great Mom.

The truth is, we don’t have forever. 

Nobody knows when their last breath will come, in one month, one year, one hundred years or more likely somewhere in between.  We can’t plan for the end, but we also need to stop waiting for the perfect moment to start living.  Life is short and our time is now.  That’s all we’ve really got.

Ask yourself, are you embracing your excuses or creating the life you want with intention and determination?

If you’re one of the bazillion people that have bought into your excuses, read on and get ready to make the leap you most want and need to make, starting now.

What’s Stopping You?

You know that dream you’ve been sitting on, well, forever?  It’s time to figure out what’s stopping you.

Maybe your dream is world travel or a promotion or starting your own business or writing a book.  Diverse dreams mysteriously have similar excuses.  What’s yours?

Is it fear that you’re not ready?  Not good enough?

Is it that you have no time because your days are filled with activities that keep you busy but uninspired?

Is it money?  Many dreams take funds that may not be simply sitting in the ol’ bank account.

It’s impossible conquer what you don’t see and can’t express.  Now is the perfect time to understand your personal barriers, but don’t stop at the surface.  Be vulnerable and dig deep with a trusted friend, spouse, coach or mentor.  Write it all down and then say it out loud.  Is it an unchangeable truth or a story?  Only you know the answer.

What do you most want?

I always thought I wanted a big career with a big title and you know what?  I had that and I wasn’t fulfilled.  Turns out that what I most want is more tied to my values than prestige and my bank account.

I want adventure, moments I’ll remember forever with my family, to be creative, joyful, playful, make a big difference in people’s lives, even in small ways, to inspire others to create the life that they most want.

Take out the pen again.  Start to write your list of what you most want.  It’s OK to start with tangibles, like a car that isn’t always in the shop or a house with room for your hobbies, but once again, dig deeper.

Now, back to what’s stopping you… caught in the cycle?  You can choose to break free.

Life is short, live it now.  You can’t know if next week is too late to get started and you’ve got today.  Why wait?

Are you willing to commit to one thing you can do today that will move you closer to your dream?  Will you be brave enough to write it in the comments?  I hope so.  

For coaching, consulting or speaking Let’s Connect!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Mertz May 14, 2014 at 7:22 am

I recently read an article that people will lead a more fulfilling life if they focus on experiences rather than collecting “stuff.” Alli, your post builds on this and shifts are focus to living those experiences that touch other lives as well as our own. In those connection points, lives become alive, and we need to use every moment we have to live as alive as we can! Thanks, Jon

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John Bennett May 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Right on, Jon!!! “… Focus on experiences rather than collecting ‘stuff’.” My wife and I will be moving in the coming year almost certainly. We have a choice to simplify enabling experiences or duplicate elsewhere. We are preparing with the former etched in our minds – but we’re alert to fight the latter.

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Alli Polin May 15, 2014 at 6:07 am

Simplification feels GREAT! A book I read years ago that I love (and often wonder why I left in storage in the USA is the Simple Living Guide. Less stuff, more living.

Good luck with your move, John!

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Alli Polin May 15, 2014 at 6:05 am

Our family can still do better when it comes to saying NO to new stuff but it was a wonderful start when we moved to Australia…. big house in Virginia to a 1300 sq foot house here. Letting go of stuff creates the space for a whole lot more than just new things.

Here’s to living AWAKE!

Thanks, Jon!

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Bill May 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

Hi Alli,

Ditto what Jon wrote!

One of the best things we did last year was include our two adult children on a holiday cruise. They could not afford to do that on their own and we had the money to treat. We kayaked together, went horseback riding and even did some wine tasting. Those memories will last a life time, but I’m already thinking about the next one – one that will include grandchildren 🙂

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Alli Polin May 15, 2014 at 6:08 am

Sounds like a wonderful holiday, Bill! Since our big move, we’ve spent considerably more money on travel and are literally filled with wonderful memories and shared adventures. Big yes to adventures yet to come!

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Terri Klass May 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

Life is for experiencing adventures with people we love and enjoy spending time with. Life is meant to be lived with fervor, excitement, passion and love. At least for me.

One of the most difficult things for people to do is not look over their shoulders to see what everybody else is doing. As you beautifully state, share your dreams with a friend or coach and follow the path most meaningful to you.

Love your message Alli and call to action for each of us!

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Alli Polin May 15, 2014 at 6:20 am

Terri – that’s really the heart of it – figuring out what’s important to you without worrying that someone else may not like your dream. Who cares? They can have their own. It can be really tough but worth figuring it out and definitely worth committing to a fulfilling life.

Many thanks for sharing your wisdom here!

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Samantha Hall May 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Great post as usual Alli.

Although it may be old-fashioned, appear to be outdated and amazingly no longer ‘in style’….

My dream is to remarry again someday! I’ve been a widow for 10 years now and frankly, I didn’t ‘think’ that I’d be single for as long as I have. Now to clarify, I haven’t spent the last 5 years on a die hard search looking either! haha There were circumstances that made we want to be ‘unavailable’ for awhile.

Needless to say though that for my kind of dream, it’s not a completely independent one. I tweeted earlier today ‘It takes two to tango. Always has. Always will.’ And it was in this context I was sharing it. When it comes to dreams involving other people, we can do our part and the other half still needs to show up and do theirs before that dream comes true! (manifests)

Meanwhile, I continue to endeavor to be the person I would want to marry. (although I would sincerely like to be able to remain a woman…grins)

As for your message, I understand it very well. (having lost my husband) And while I know I”ve come up with my own excuses for this, that, or the other) one thing I can say with absolutely clarity and certainty. I do not regret making the decisions and choices I need to make to be here for my children. I had to give up titles and status to do it. But my children wouldn’t have had a mother if I continued in that direction. They’ve needed both a mother and father. Father I haven’t managed to provide since their dad died. Mother? That’s my job. I’ve been doing my best to fill it.

Thanks for sharing Alli. Always enjoy your posts.

~Samantha

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Samantha Hall May 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Correction: Widowed for 9 years. Sheesh! Aging myself too fast here. (grins)

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Alli Polin May 15, 2014 at 6:23 am

Samantha –

You are one of the strongest women I know not only because of the hardships you’ve endured in your life but because you are so fully committed to becoming the person that you most want to be.

I can totally understand wanting a special relationship with someone. We crave connection and deserve the intimacy it can bring.

I wonder what your experience is… for me, hard choices become easier when I stop worrying about how other people will judge my decisions.

You rock and I’m honored to know you!!

xo

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Tom Rhodes May 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Alli;

Another great post. Life is definitely too short and unfortunately we never know when it’s the last moment.
I have made many choices in my life based on the needs of others and not on my dreams. Life takes a balance of doing the best things for you and being there to support and help those around you. If you forget about the you part of that equation you will never be your best. And being your best you is what makes you the best for others.
It’s also important that you let those not supporting during your challenges go away. It may be lonely for a while at the same time hanging on to those people will just pull you down. Over time you will be a stronger person.

Keep up the great work, you are awesome.

Tom

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Alli Polin May 20, 2014 at 2:38 am

Tom,

You bring up such an important point – the balance between selflessness and perceived selfishness. If you or I cease to take care of ourselves and our needs along the way, we have far less to give.

It can really hurt when you discover that you thought that someone was on your team is not. Wise advice to let them go because ultimately they will hold you back.

I appreciate your honesty and truth that you consistently share. Many thanks to you, Tom.

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LaRae Quy May 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

One of your best, Alli!

The word “adventure” conjures up all sorts of fun thrills that take us beyond our normal routine and slightly out of our comfort zone…that’s why we like adventure! And yet, when it comes to living out the true calling of our life, we often take the easy and predictable route.

It takes spunk and grit to move toward adventure…but that is where our heart truly finds life.

Thanks so much!

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Alli Polin May 20, 2014 at 2:34 am

I’m a sucker for adventure, LaRae! But, like you wrote, I play it safe in so many ways too. It’s making intentional choices and taking and honest view that helps us live by the values that we most want to honor and leave the idea that we need to play small behind.

Appreciate you!!

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Kath May 20, 2014 at 1:47 am

A great post to prompt us to stop, reflect and take a breath then realise what life is truly about. I invest in experiences these days and quality time with people i love so much more than getting onward and upward and buying stuff I don’t need!

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Alli Polin May 20, 2014 at 2:40 am

Kath! Thanks so much for your comment! I love following your work and consistently learn from your insights. This is no exception. BREATHE and enjoy life instead of filling the basket to the top with things. I’m all for filling up to the top with meaningful shared experiences.

Thanks!

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