Live your life, don’t just go through the motions

Some people will go through life making all the right decisions, folllowing all the rules, working the nine-to-five shift and basically playing it safe. But is this really living?

We go to school for the the first 18  years of our life, learning essentials such as math, english, science and reading. Then we go to college to specialize in certain areas like nursing, computer science, journalism, psychology or engineering. After college it’s work, retirement, possibly a nursing home and then death.

It seems rather depressing. What is the point of living if there is nothing more than school and work? Maybe you’ll get married and have a family or maybe you’ll forever be the bachelor or bachelorette. You might raise kids or continue to visit party after party. Either way, it can become monotonous.

People need to learn to take risks, break out of their shells and quit being wallflowers. I’m not advocating that you go out and do something illegal or life-threatening, but do something new each day or week.

Life should be more than a resume of education, accomplishments and work experience. It should be about having fun and discovering your passion. Yes, we need to work to earn the money that will put food in our bellies, but there should still be time for adventure and excitement.

Go explore a new city. Go partying (safely) with your friends. Go scuba diving or horseback riding. Do something that you wouldn’t normally do.

In addition to education and work, we need to be creating memories. Years from now our stories shouldn’t just consist of all the hard times and the struggles we went through. Our stories should be full of memories that we’re proud, or maybe even not so proud, to be telling our children and grandchildren.

As someone who has learned from personal experience, you’re more likely to regret not doing something than you will doing it. Sure you might make a decision that ends up being a huge mistake, but mistakes are what help to define us and make us who we are. We learn from them and eventually move on. If you don’t do something though, you’ll always be left with the nagging “what if?” question.

I don’t know the meaning of life, but I do know that it needs to be lived. Dare to live each day as if it were your last.