Life is Too Short to Not Do What You Love
I have been talking about Doing What You Love in this series, and have been focusing on the importance of Following Your Bliss.
When you live in this way, you feel healthier, happier, more fulfilled and more in tune with living a Low Density Lifestyle.
The tricky thing is that sometimes it takes awhile to focus on the thing that really turns you on and is the thing that you love. In the interim, you may see many years go by of slogging along and doing something you didn’t love.
Life is too short to spend it doing something that is drudgery. We are on this planet and gone in the blip of an eye, and everyday is precious. Once you find the thing that you love, you have to pursue it relentlessly.
Don’t let your doubts and fears get in your way. As a certain foot apparel commercial says, Just Do It!
Below are excerpts from a famous essay by the Roman philosopher Lucius Seneca entitled, On the Shortness of Time. “It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it,” Seneca said.
Seneca may have lived in a time much unlike ours – he lived in the time of the Emperor Nero – but he was a keen observer of human nature and saw how so many people wasted time not doing the thing they love.
Here are the excerpts:
It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.
“The part of life we really live is small.” For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time.
In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal. And so I should like to lay hold upon someone from the company of older men and say: “I see that you have reached the farthest limit of human life, you are pressing hard upon your hundredth year, or are even beyond it; come now, recall your life and make a reckoning. Consider how much of your time was taken up with a moneylender, how much with a mistress, how much with a patron, how much with a client, how much in wrangling with your wife, how much in punishing your slaves, how much in rushing about the city on social duties. Add the diseases which we have caused by our own acts, add, too, the time that has lain idle and unused; you will see that you have fewer years to your credit than you count.
You will hear many men saying: “After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties.” And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
Finally, everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things—eloquence cannot, nor the liberal studies—since the mind, when distracted, takes in nothing very deeply,
There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.
Can anything be sillier than the point of view of certain people—I mean those who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves very busily engaged in order that they may be able to live better; they spend life in making ready to live!
“Why do you delay,” says he, “Why are you idle? Unless you seize the day, it flees.” Even though you seize it, it still will flee; therefore you must vie with time’s swiftness in the speed of using it, and, as from a torrent that rushes by and will not always flow, you must drink quickly. And, too, the utterance of the bard is most admirably worded to cast censure upon infinite delay, in that he says, not “the fairest age,” but “the fairest day.”
All the greatest blessings are a source of anxiety, and at no time should fortune be less trusted than when it is best; therefore, must the life of those be who work hard to gain what they must work harder to keep. By great toil they attain what they wish, and with anxiety hold what they have attained; meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return.
Reasons for anxiety will never be lacking, whether born of prosperity or of wretchedness.
You win love in an office in which it is difficult to avoid hatred; but nevertheless believe me, it is better to have knowledge of the ledger of one’s own life than of the corn-market.
The condition of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but most wretched is the condition of those who labor at preoccupations that are not even their own, who regulate their sleep by that of another, their walk by the pace of another, who are under orders in case of the freest things in the world—loving and hating. If these wish to know how short their life is, let them reflect how small a part of it is their own.