You Never Know How Much Time You Have

You don’t know how long time you have. Last year, a woman in Canada awoke to a loud noise in the middle of the night. Jumping out of bed, she turned on the light and saw a hole in her ceiling right above the bed. And on the bed was a 3-pound meteorite that had punched right through her roof, missing her head by inches.

It is exceedingly rare for people to get killed by rocks from space. But disease and everyday accidents also strike without warning. There is no day that is “just another day.” Every day is a unique gift. Make sure you use it well.

How will you have improved your life or the world at the end of today?

Think Long-Term

We easily end up in crisis mode when faced with something that seems like it requires our immediate attention. The ability to focus on urgent threats has helped humans survive over the millennia, but today companies who want our attention has learned to feed us a constant diet of things we urgently need to read, watch or click on.

It is useful to step back and take a longer perspective. Author Vincent Ialenti talks about how the very long perspective can help you replenish your energy. He calls this concept “Deep Time” – thinking about what happened thousands or millions of years ago, and what will happen thousands of years into the future. It places you in relationship with your surroundings and brings a better understanding of your roles as the continuation of those who came before you, and your role as a guardian of our planet. Try to take the very long perspective. It is calming.

Step Back to get Perspective

I just let a buzzing insect out of my office. It had gotten in somehow and was now trying in vain to fly out through the window glass. It was unable to understand the invisible barrier holding it back, and kept trying the same thing.

We humans are not all that different. Sometimes, we realize we are not moving in the direction we want in our life, but respond by trying harder. When you have your nose against the glass, you cannot see it.

The power humans have, and insects don’t have, is the ability to step back from the situation. When you gain perspective, you can figure out what is holding you back and how to move forward. Sometimes, you are able to consider you situation yourself and find a solution. Sometimes, talking with a friend can help. And sometime, you need to talk to a professional  therapist. Don’t keep buzzing against invisible barriers. Get help.