I could die tomorrow. As a matter of fact, I could die today.
You could too.
We are not exempt from death. It is inevitable. We are all going to die.
Thanks for starting a blog in this incredibly dark fashion Mehmet, but so what?
Well, the sooner I come to terms with this, the sooner I will begin to truly live. I heard somewhere that Steve Jobs was sort of obsessed with the idea of his own death. Look at everything he achieved.
Too often we put off our own desires because we think we are immortal. Yet, we give into our fears because we know we will die one day. I’m trying to challenge this way of living. This way of thinking.
I accept that I can die today. I accept that I may never reach 65 years old to finally retire at an age that Canadian law allows. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. How could I think that 40 years from today is guaranteed?
Few years ago, I read Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold Hard Truth: On Business, Money, Life. He pointed out how starting to invest early on, around the age of 25, would equal huge sums of money in the future. Naturally, I invested some money, despite being young. I went to a financial advisor and he was surprised to see me. He even said I don’t see many kids your age coming in here to invest.
Then we worked out a plan that would see me retire at age 65 and have enough money to be able to live ‘comfortably’ until I die at age 80 or 90 or whatever it was.
Few weeks ago, I went to see my financial advisor and he gave me a report. My financial plan or something like that. Doesn’t matter what it was. The important thing was at the bottom of the page.
“Retirement age 65.”
Really? Is this what I signed up for? Is this what I want out of life? Few years ago, the answer was, undoubtedly, yes. Now? Not so much.
I’m not working towards retiring at 65 anymore. What the hell am I going to do at 65? If I want to take dance lessons, I’ll need hip replacement. If I want to travel, I’ll need my oxygen tank to clear customs. Okay, I may be exaggerating here but, point is, I don’t want to wait until I’m old and grey to do the things I want to do now.
I’ve stopped investing for the time being. It doesn’t mean I’ve started to take that money I was putting away and spend it on a new car or something frivolous. I’m taking that money and investing in myself.
I am starting a business. I needed some of the money to pay for a course. To order products. To begin marketing efforts.
This money may all go to waste but if everything goes according to my plan I won’t have to wait until I’m 65 to be able to retire.
The word ‘retirement’ may need some clarity. To me retirement doesn’t mean stop working and wait until I’m dead. On the contrary, I believe it’s when I will be able to start living as I want. Retirement to me is being able to free my time to do the things I want to do. I simply cannot wait 40 years to begin doing things I want.
As a society, we are okay with this idea. We embrace this idea. The idea that I will wake up every morning at 6:30. Get ready. Get stuck in traffic for an hour or more. Get into work. Leave at 5. Get stuck in traffic. Come home around 6:30. Drained and start emailing for work. Is this the life you want? It’s not the life I want. If you’re okay with this idea, then all the power to you. I’m not writing to change anyone’s mind. I’m only writing it to express my mentality and where I am in my life.
I’ve been extremely blessed in my life. In many areas. One area I feel extremely fortunate is the fact that I haven’t lost anyone close to me at a young age. This is another thing I take for granted and I shouldn’t.
My cousin is young. In his teens now. He’s already experienced a death of his friend. I think it was even before his teenage years. This happens.
A close friend of mine lost someone close to him not too long ago. Around our age. It happens.
Why do I think it can’t happen to me? Why do I put off my goals, dreams and desires for tomorrow? For next year? For retirement?
We are leasing. We’re tenants here. None of us own the body we are in, it’s foolish to think we do. At some point death is going to come and claim what is rightfully his.
When that day comes, I hope to be in a place where I will be at peace with it. I hope to have found tranquility in my life. I have many things I aspire to be. Many goals I hope to accomplish. I simply cannot hold it off any longer in hopes that I do it ‘one day’. It must begin today. If not today, then when? I’m not immune to sickness. Life can be taken away in an instant.
Waiting to go after my dreams won’t make me happy. Waiting to go after my goals won’t make me more prepared. So why wait? Time is running out on all of us.
I’m choosing to accept the fact that I will die one day. I’m choosing to accept it, so that I can appreciate what I have now. I accept it so that I can work on the things I want without being careless with my limited time, because time is just that, limited.
All too often we wander around aimlessly and take on other people’s goals and responsibilities as our own. I choose not to anymore. I have my own goals. My own dreams. I’m not going to wait to start going after them. Not for anybody. There simply isn’t enough time to wait because whether we like it or not, we’re all going to die one day.
Good news is, we can decide what we accomplish before that day comes.