The Finish Line is Closer Than You Think


the finish line is closer than you think
Motivation to ask yourself tough questions so you can start living

What do you want to accomplish before your time runs out?

What’s your dream? Your biggest dream? The one thing you could die happily after accomplishing?

What if you don’t live long enough to accomplish it?

This is what I’ve been thinking about lately. Morbid, I know. But with this month and last month’s theme of reflection and my recent reading of When Breath Becomes Air, it’s been on my mind quite a bit.

I also finished writing my book In the Space Between, and in the process of formatting the book for publication, I was reminded of the inspiration for both the book and the original version of this post.

The last time these questions plagued me enough to bring them to the page, I wrote about the loss of a kid I used to know—the boy who taught me how to ride a skateboard, my first crush. He was only 19 when he died in a tragic accident. His life had barely begun.

Granted, I barely knew him. In my mind, he will always be the ten year old boy on a skateboard who liked to make my life miserable because that’s what ten year old boys with crushes do the girls they have crushes on. When I moved away, we didn’t keep in touch. I hadn’t spoken to him in over a decade when I saw a Facebook post from a friend of his memorializing his death.

But his death put things in perspective for me.

I keep thinking I have all this time to accomplish big things. I’m a dreamer, and an idea person. There’s so many things I know I’m capable of accomplishing; so many ideas I have for stories, for my life, for everything. I have trouble sticking to just one thing. I have trouble finishing a project or a story, putting an idea into action and following it through all the way.

I tell myself I can always come back to it later.

But what if there isn’t a later for me?

I don’t know how much time I have left. None of us do. We never know which breath will be our last until we take it–and we might not even know then.

And yet we live our lives like we have an unlimited amount of time, of breaths.

Maybe we’re afraid of death so we don’t think about it. Or maybe we just take for granted that we’re still breathing because we don’t even have to think about it.

It’s time to start thinking about it. It’s time to face what we’re afraid of and to appreciate what we take for granted.

life isn't a race. we don't know where the finish line is and it might be closer than we think quote
Make time to make a life

Life isn’t a race. We don’t know where the finish line is, and it might be closer than we think. We shouldn’t waste our time believing we have time because the truth is that we don’t. Time is not something we have; it’s something we make, and we should make time to make a life.

Because, as Paul Kalanithi reminds us, we’re all living one day at a time. The next day–even the next moment–isn’t a guarantee. All we really have is now. The rest is made up in our minds, a dream that only has a chance to become a reality when we start living it right now.

So what do you want to accomplish?

What would matter the most to you if you were told today was your last day? How would you spend your time? Where would you devote your energy?

Think about it.

Then let me know what you come up with in the comments below!

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