We’ve Got Only 1 Life to Live, Let’s Stop Killing Time!

“The bad news is that time flies, the good news is you’re the pilot”

– Michael Altshuler

Back in college, I had taken an internship class where my classmates and I worked on a much needed marketing campaign for the New York State Department of Health. We spent a semester assisting a special task force within the department whose main goal is to increase awareness of the importance of organ & tissue donation. From their research, the task force found that amongst all of the age demographics, our generation – the millennial group – to be those with the lowest rate of willingness in becoming an organ and tissue donor in event of death. This presented a major crisis as there was an increasing demand for organ and tissue donations that seriously ill patients depend on in order to have a fighting chance in beating their debilitating illnesses and have a second chance at life.

Since a majority of the team members at the time were of the older generation, they found themselves scratching their heads when it comes to finding effective ways to promote organ tissue donations to young college kids. Long story short, after giving it much thought, they eventually concluded “Who better to promote to college students than college students themselves?“.

It probably came to no surprise that despite the fact the target of the campaign were our own peers, a group which theoretically we should find little difficulty in communicating and relating to, trying to convince them to become an organ and tissue donor was anything but easy. We found out rather quickly the main reason why there was such a low rate of sign ups amongst Millennials was because they generally believe their youth makes them invincible and that they still have their (long) lives ahead of them. To put it simply, thinking about death or anything remotely related to death (i.e: organ and tissue donation) is the furthest thing on college students’ mind.

That said, it’s safe to say that this is hardly a belief that is exclusive to Millennials. Regardless of age, most of us go through life taking little account of the reality that no one really knows how much time he/she has left to enjoy this precious gift we fondly call life. And here’s more truth about time; once it passes, we could NEVER get it back. It’s the one thing that we can’t buy, rewind nor can we ask more of. As bleak as it may sound, our lifespan is a total mystery and that at any given moment, our time may just run out.

We all aim to succeed and prosper but this idea of having so much time to accomplish things we set out to do actually makes us take time for granted. It feeds our lack of action because it makes us feel as if we have more time than we actually have.Time is our universal & precious yet fleeting currency and we need to treat it accordingly and stop taking it for granted. We need to truly understand the value of time because when we do, we will come to realize that we have the power to stop “killing” time.

Just in case you need that extra push to remind you to always make the most of your time, I’d like to share with you an inspiring life lesson on life and death from one of the most brilliant minds of our time, Mr. Steve Jobs:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

No matter who we are and where we came from, with each and every day we are given an equal balance of 86,400 seconds to spend. So snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it – don’t waste it away on idleness, laziness, nor procrastination. Our time is limited, choose to spend it wisely.

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