What Really Matters In Life?
The news of Kobe Bryant sudden death was surprising and makes me wonder about death and how blessed it is that we are alive today, this moment.
Death has a lot to do with how we live. Because we have limited time being alive, time matters.
Spending time with people we love matters.
Spending time working on things we love matters.
Spending time pursuing our dreams matters.
Most of the time we think about life forward — planning ahead how much we can make this year, how to earn more money next year, how much we need at retirement etc.
If we want to find out what really matters in life, we have to think about life backward — how many years we have, how many months and days we have left on this earth. Only by realizing the limited time that we have could we prioritize things and people that matter.
While planning ahead is a good thing, we also need to prioritize and learn to live and enjoy the moment.
After all, this moment is all we have. We never know when is the last time we see someone, or the last day we live on this world.
The tail end
I’ve read an interesting blog post recently. The blogger laid out the human lifespan visually in grids by year, by months and by weeks. It looks like this:
I will put the links below for your reference, but this exercise is really helpful in visualising our life.
Besides measuring our life in units of time, it is also suggested that you can measure life in activities.
For example, if you travel once a year and you are 30, it could mean that you have 40 trips left in life (assuming your lifespan is 70). This makes you treasure each trip even more so that you would do your best to make sure you enjoy every trip (and who you travel with).
How many times have you left dining with your parents? (Assuming you dine with your parents ___ times a month now)
How many books can you read in the remaining life? (Assuming you read ___ books a year now)
How many fun night-outs with your best friends? (Assuming you go out ___ times a year now)
Having a different perspective on life (planning backward) can really give us a sense of urgency and forces us to re-think what really matters.
The tail end link: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html
BJ Miller Ted talk
Another resource that really inspires me on this subject is BJ Miller’s ted talk on “what really matters at the end of life”.
BJ Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients.
The majority of us could be living for money now, and lose sight of what it is that we most want in this life. I would highly recommend you go watch this moving ted talk (which is only 19 minutes), especially when you feel like life is not going anywhere or feeling lose, heartbroken, or depressed.
BJ Miller’s ted talk : https://www.ted.com/talks/bj_miller_what_really_matters_at_the_end_of_life?language=en