By Tumelo Mashile
Let me start by posing a few questions: How different would your life be if you knew how long you were going to live? If you knew how much time you had ‘left’? Would that alter the way you see things? Would your behaviour and actions change if you knew exactly how much time was ‘allocated’ to you? Would you ensure that the rest of your life becomes the best of your life? Wouldn’t you want the remainder of your life to be more meaningful? Wouldn’t you want to live a much more memorable life?
So, what is stopping you from living the life that you so desire? I argue that the reason we don’t live the lives we want to live is because we think we have time. We, as young people, think that we still have time; hence we sometimes engage in meaningless acts, we waste precious time while in a constant state of intoxication. We have a perpetual need for entertainment and less or no hunger for knowledge. We fool ourselves into thinking that we have time; because we have time we get entangled in destructive habits and before we know it, we are tied by these habits and we struggle escape. We tell ourselves we will start over at a certain time in the future; forgetting that the future comes one day at a time and it is not guaranteed to anyone. The longer we wait to change our lives for the better, the more difficult it becomes.
The fact that you have decided (consciously or unconsciously) to put your progress and growth on hold (with the false belief that you still have time) doesn’t mean everyone else has done the same. If and when you decide to re-join the race, do you think your peers will wait for you to catch up with them?
The Creator has borrowed us some time; we do not know when this ‘allocated’ time will be reclaimed. The question is not whether or not the Creator will reclaim this borrowed time, but rather what will you do with this borrowed time. The real issue is whether or not you will take time out to do some introspection and decide what is it that REALLY makes you happy and take steps towards realising that which makes you happy. When the allotted time is finally taken will you rest in peace knowing that you lived out your life? Knowing that you fulfilled your mission and purpose? Knowing that you took the bold step to travel in the direction of your dream? Whenever I pass by a gravesite, I can’t help but think about all the dreams buried there that were never realised, the goals that were never attained, the entrepreneurial ingenuity that was never tested and the academic strength that was never used purposefully.
I like to urge you as a young person to question the status quo, to push the boundaries and test your limits. Its only when you dare to venture into the impossible that you realise that you don’t have limitations at all. Felix Baumgartner, an Australian skydiver, set world the world record for skydiving in 2012 (an estimated 39 kilometres) reaching an estimated speed of 1357.64 km/h. He is the first person to break the sound barrier (a sudden large increase in aerodynamic drag that occurs as the speed of an object approaches the speed of sound, 1236 km/h) thereby redefining human ‘limits’ and ‘capabilities’. Not only did he literally defeat the fallacy that the ‘sky is the limit’ but also proved that ANYTHING is possible.
It’s not easy I know, but it’s sure worth it. If it was easy the bottom would not be so overcrowded. You have to make a choice between mediocre results which will keep you at the bottom and extra ordinary results which will make sure you soar like an eagle.
The choice is yours, the sooner you make that choice the better because the reality is that we don’t have much time. It’s never too late to start though. Start today to use your borrowed time wisely and more meaningfully.
Tumelo Mashile is a speaker, writer and an EnGepreneurTM (an Entrepreneurial Engineer)
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