“When we realize the shortness of life, we begin to see the importance of making every moment count” -Dillon Burroughs


Couple of days back, I started watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. I realize I’m probably one of the last people on earth to see the ratings giant but I found one character fascinating.

Walter White.

Walt has an ordinary life. He works in a job below his pay scale and ability, has a social life that stinks, and spends most weekends at work or in the shopping mall. It’s a safe, steady life but one full of monotony and boredom.

When Walt finds out he’s dying, he jumps into action to change the course of his life and focus on what really needs to be done. Sure, he makes a bad decision there, but the point is that he re-evaluates his life and figures out what his priorities are once he gets the bad news.

Walt’s predicament led me to re-think my views about death and the way I am  living out my life. I revisited some of my posts here wherein I stressed on the importance of acting with urgency in terms of living out our life. Death comes to us all sooner or later but why do we always wait for bad news before we launch into action?

Maybe because most of us live a life just like Walt’s.

We work our butts off and we hang out at the mall. We watch too much TV and we skip exercise in favor of the bag of chips or bowl of ice cream. We know we could do better but the day-to-day has a habit of getting in the way. We’ll change our routine tomorrow, research a new career next week and look for greater meaning in our lives once (insert any trivial activity that you presume all important to do first).

There’s no ultimatum. No deadline. No pressure. So we plod through life accepting the status quo even though, silently, we’re craving for more.

But what if, like Walt, we had a limited time left on this earth. Would we re-evaluate the things of importance to us? If we knew this was it, that our days were numbered, would we take back the control and fight for more?

Of course we would.

We’d write that book, complete that course, travel around the world and maybe even discover an exciting new lifestyle abroad.

Or we’d add greater meaning to our lives in other, less extreme, ways. Perhaps we’d say “no” not as much, be kinder to ourselves and to others, embrace what we love in life, and focus on the people and things that matter most.

We’d look at our lives — the lengthy commute to work, the long periods away from home, the corporate crap with its unrelenting hours, the way we define success — and we’d say “not interested,” “no, thank you,” and “no more.”

We’d strive for more, push harder, look deeper. We wouldn’t accept the way things are so we’d adjust the edges, widen the boundaries and search for greater meaning and fulfilment, knowing that our time on this earth was limited.

But our time is limited and it is finite so shouldn’t we live life like this all the time?

Oftentimes fear is the culprit. Fear of the unknown. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of change.

We already live in uncertain times — politically, economically and socially — so we cling on to any semblance of order and control in our lives. We work hard to provide for our families and find ourselves caught up in the daily work grind.

Many people although recognizing the need for change and receiving that needed “kick at the bum” still see the idea of change terrifying and paralyzing. So much so that they chose the easy option and the path of less resistance. They opted to stay stuck in the status quo.

We all wait to the last minute to act. People just do.

I mean, when was the last time you turned in an essay four weeks early or finished that company report months ahead of schedule? Rather than leave it so late, it has to be better to get on with things before our time is up.

We’re not all going to climb Everest or swim the English Channel or sail the World’s oceans but what’s wrong with making a few small changes along the way? A tweak here, an adjustment there, because small changes can still have a big impact on the quality of our lives.

So we need to start living life on our terms and identify what’s important versus what doesn’t actually matter. Consider that our time on this planet is finite and start to live our lives with the kind of haste that normally follows bad news.

What will you do differently? What legacy do you choose to leave?

Photo credits: Google photos

22 thoughts on ““When we realize the shortness of life, we begin to see the importance of making every moment count” -Dillon Burroughs

  1. Great post Andrei. I have recently set up some nonnegotiables for myself. This means parts of my life that are so important that I will not give them up no matter what. One item on my list is consistent family time. I can’t think of anything more important to me than the people I love and staying in touch with them. Thanks for sharing this essential message. Life is short.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome decision Ali. Lovely to hear that!

      Wish you and your family happiness and love. They should be on top of our priorities. At the end of the day, besides our own selves, they are the only ones we’ve got.

      Thanks for the visit. It’s always great to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It was just this morning that I read about this man who was afflicted with cancer and has to live his last days awaiting death. It is ironic that in the last days of his life he enjoys life more than he ever has in spite of all the wealth that he has accumulated. With his new- found fresh lease of air during his last days, he crosses the deadline of 2 months and lives on the next year and the next…It is ironic that when he saw death at his threshold that he learnt to live, before that he was just in the rat race called life.
    Thank you for the reminder, Andrei!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Death is a potent motivator/catalyst for change. If only we have the realization that our life is finite and our days here in this world are numbered, surely we’ll make it our business to live life to the fullness of our existence.

      In principle, we can say that we all have “cancers” but the only difference is that some of us were not yet diagnosed and given a definite time to live.

      Thank you for sharing the inspiring story you’ve read. Some of us sometimes need that necessary push for change.

      Have a great week Pranitha ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with this. I’m actually quite sad to see some people around me who are miserable with their life, but they are not ready to make any changes. I’m not sure what advise to give those people or how to help them beyond saying that we need to take actions towards things under our control. If you don’t like the present, create a better future. However, they seem to have given up and accepted their monotonous lives. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just like you, I’ve known quite a few people who have given up hopes to improve their living conditions. And it’s truly hearbreaking at times that we can’t do anything for them if they’re not yet ready.

      But I do beleive in the power of words and motivation. Inspire others to change by being an example of the beauty of change, ourselves.

      Isn’t it one of our respective blogs’ common purpose to spread positivity and eventually effect change on others? Let’s do good on that and hope for the best result ☺

      There comes a time that we can’t (eventhough how much wanted to) enforce change in someone else’s life, be it from those that we dearly love. Change will always be their choice and will always be within their time.

      Thank you for sharing your heart my lovely little sister.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the enlightening words, Kuya. I suddenly feel like blogging about the Serenity Prayer because of this. Haha! Sometimes, we need to accept the limitations of our influence. Change comes from within.

        Liked by 1 person

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