I had a conversation with an elderly lady while waiting for my COVID-19 Booster Shot. She mused, “I wish I had known how short life truly is. I always thought I would have more time. To learn, to travel, to just enjoy the day. And then all of a sudden, I’m 68. I start to feel the effects of aging. And not everything is possible anymore. I can’t travel as easily as I once did. I need more help around the house and in my garden.”
She explained to me that being 68 is not that old. She is relatively healthy, even though she had a back surgery and the recovery has been tough.
“Every moment is precious. Everyone has limited time with the people we love and care about. Spending time with them is so incredibly important, mainly because you don’t have “forever” with them. Girl, appreciate your youth, health, family, life. It goes so fast,” are her parting words to me.
We have been told to do what we love and love what we do. Life is about happiness, not money. I used to think, “How can my life be happy if I can’t pay my bills?” I still do. I still don’t have an answer. But what I can tell you is, working at a job we are passionate about is very important.
Our time on earth is very limited. We have been told time and time again. Do we know how valuable life is? Or how short it is? The average life span for Malaysians is 76 years. If we live in South Africa, it comes down to 64. If we live in Italy or Singapore, we may hit 83. But then again that is not my point.
Say, we sleep 8 hours a day, that is a third of our life. We have 50 years left.
On average, we spend 12 years going on education. Assuming we go to school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, all of this time combined brings us down about 3 years. If we go to college, we reduce two more years. Now we have 45 years left.
Let’s say we work an average day job of 40 hours a week. An average person works 40 years before retiring. All that time combined, we spend 10 years of our life working. Now we have 35 years left.
The average person takes about 1.5 hours for the commute to work every day, so when all of that is added up, we spend two years of our life just traveling to and from work. Now we have 33 years left in our entire life.
Every day we spend about 70 minutes eating. That is 4 years of our life. We have 29 years left. We spend an hour a day on household chores and running errands. This time adds up to about three years of our life. 26 years left and counting down.
We also waste time. We spend 13 years of our life on the phone, watching TV, or playing video games. Now we have 13 years left.
Finally, we retire. If we are lucky, we are still fit and healthy. Over 50% of people over 60 or 65 suffer from illness and some sort of disability.
My point in all of this is to show you that getting free time, happiness, and pleasure in everything we do is vital, in order to be contented at the end of our life – and no regrets. Those 10 years on our job should be spent doing something we love, and we should love what we do.
Money is an important factor in life. Working in the area that we are passionate about is important to be happy. However, with all of today’s priorities, we tend to go with the highest paying job that we can get into. But it does not end there.
It is difficult to be happy without having the self-containment of being able to buy and pay for what we want. Still, it is not a bigger picture.
Money should not be a goal. It should be a tool to get us to our goal. We need to open our doors. Look at the big picture. If our situation is not at the point at which we can do this, that is fine, just keep it in the back of our mind.
Self-fulfilment is key to happiness and contentment. Regret is a powerful feeling. From the smallest of regrets, to the regrets that are life changing. Regrets in life can lead people into depression and making abrupt decisions.
Working on something that we don’t want to do for just a couple of extra thousands, may make us feel a sense of temporary joy or happiness. Regret comes when we don’t work because of the internal joy and satisfaction it brings us.
Our time here on earth is relatively short. If we consider all of the things we want to do, it makes it look even shorter. If we consider money, it makes it even shorter. In the end, it is up to us, what are we going to do in this short time we all have?