The Great Paradox of Life

Living long without living well is the greatest form of torture.

Elongating life without a focus on deepening the moments that are the building blocks of that life is a form failure.

It may produce a few extra months or years, but will those years be lived deeply?

Will you be fully present during them?

Does one more birthday really matter if you spend your days idling away in a nursing home?

As Thoreau said, “the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation,” waiting for tomorrow, regretting the past and missing the present.

Instead of measuring your life in units of time, it can be a great exercise to measure it in terms of moments or meaningful activities.

For instance, if you are 30 and the average person lives to be 90, you only have ~60 Super Bowls left to enjoy, ~60 chances to watch the leaves change colors in the fall, and ~60 opportunities to enjoy the beauty of an early morning snow.

However, it is even more powerful to think about moments that are not linear or more importantly the experiences that tend to be more lumpy in occurrence due to their rarity, but more often due to the fact that they are enjoyed with another person(s) that may have a different lifespan than you.

The most compelling for me is that by the time you are 18 you will have already spent ~90% of the days with your parents you will ever spend.

As Tim Urban describes it, you are in the Tail End.

It is not that we have too little time, it is that we waste so much of it in the pursuit of the non-essential.

Now, what is essential to me may not be to you, but the mass of people have no idea was is essential and therefore are funneled through a life set by the society in which they find themselves, never deciding for themselves their own “units” of life.

My hope is not necessarily to live longer, but to live more deeply, with the final measuring stick marked not with units of time, but with moments spent in pursuit of the meaningful.

Moments spent with those I love.

Moments spend in deep commitment to things that fill me up.

Moments lived on my terms, not theirs.

We may be in the Tail End of some of those moments today, so don’t take them for granted.

Embrace them fully.

Don’t let them pass by, because unlike a unit of time, they are not arbitrary.

Go Deeper

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Benny Glick

Benny Glick

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