Time is our valuable asset – limited and irreplaceable. Yet we too often let it slip through our fingers while we procrastinate, fret, fool ourselves or simply laze about. What would it take to jolt you out of your complacency? Inc magazine thinks you need to be reminded of the hard truths of our mortality and limited time on this celestial merry-go-round. Here are 13 realities that should get you off the mental sofa and back into the game of life – before it’s too late.
1. You are going to die – maybe tomorrow. There are no guarantees in this life, except eventual death. Live every day to the fullest.
2. Everyone you love is going to die – and you don’t know when. Sad but true. Waste no time in resolving old disputes, making amends and otherwise getting square with the important people in your life.
3. You will never catch up to your idea of happiness. Always striving for the next thing you “need” to be happy – better job, new relationship, a baby — is a losing game. It prevents you from recognizing and enjoying the happiness that currently exists in your life.
4. Pleasing others is impossible. You can’t make everyone happy and trying to do so can make you very unhappy. Focus on your needs and work to make yourself a better person. That will truly make others happy.
5. Perfection is a death trap. Yes, strive for excellence, but don’t hold yourself to crazy high standards. That’s the road to self-loathing and, ironically, ultimate failure.
6. Actions speak loader than words. Make sure your every action and interaction emphasizes the positive. Keep your promises. Do good deeds. Cut co-workers some slack when they need it.
7. Talent means nothing without hard work. Master your trade and be a life-long learner.
8. You live too much in the past. Reliving past failures (or glories) and daydreaming about tomorrow are preventing you from fully using and enjoying this moment.
9. Whining is pointless. Half the people who hear you complain about your problems don’t care; the other half is happy you have them. You are the CEO of your own life. YOU can change anything you don’t like about it – big or small.
10. You are your own best investment. Improving your skill set is the best way to improve your financial situation – and make life better for those you love.
11. Winners get back up. You are going to get knocked down in the 13-round fight called “life.” That’s OK – so long as you get off the canvas and come back swinging harder and smarter.
12. Delay gratification. Remember the ant and the grasshopper? Ask yourself whether you want to party away the summer of life, or use your time and resources to build something deeply fulfilling and lasting.
13. Treat time with respect. Be intentional about how you spend your hours and days. Don’t drift through life, set a course.