I had a conversation with a friend who said these words to me, “You only live once, now it’s time to fight for it.”
Well, actually he first asked what was the title of my book. Then, he uttered those words.
Like many of you. I am not immune to what’s happening in our world. What’s happening in the world has impacted me personally, professionally, socially, financially and all the other “lly” out there.
My friend said this is the time for people to understand we only do have this one life. And now more than ever we need to fight for it.
But what does fighting for it mean? It means we have to make a conscious and deliberate effort to live.
We need to ask ourselves, “what are our values? What have we prioritized over health? Why are we disconnected? What society have we built that the vast majority of people experience loneliness and ongoing stress? Is there a better way?”
Is there a better way?
If you’ve listened to me long enough, you’ll know I was never the person who says stop spending. I’m the guy who says spend to live, don’t spend to distract. Distracting ourselves from the work needed to create the life we dream of.
I haven’t backed down in my definition of what you only live once means.
Sure for a long time, we’ve used YOLO as a way to excuse ourselves for conscious choices we make because life is short. In fact, the very use of YOLO when making a seemingly irrational decision is a type of awareness. At that moment you’re aware of the decision you’re making whether or not you’re fully aware if it creates or distracts.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
When we expand YOLO to you only live once, we get to fully see how life is short but it’s also long.
Yes, life is short but life is also very long.
So we can enjoy the moment, but we should plan to have many moments for as long as possible. And that requires making conscious decisions to create a life that’s worthy of the one life we’re given.
A premise of my book was about valuing time as the most valuable asset we possess. But, now, four years after the release of that book, I’ve come to realize that time isn’t an asset. Time is a liability. Time is borrowed.
Because time is borrowed we have an obligation to repay it by living our best lives, planning for a long life, and ensuring others have equal and equitable opportunities to do so too.
Yes, during these times, you only live once is applicable, and very much so to the very nature of our health and wealth.
For me, the meaning behind “you only live once” isn’t about carelessness or selfishness. It’s about understanding this statement: if this life, the life we’re living, is in fact, the only life we get to live, we should do what we can to live it well.
Live to the fullest, not the busiest. Live to connect, not to collect. Live to create, not to capitalize. Simply live. And live well.
As we all navigate today’s uncertainties, we have an obligation to help ourselves, our loved ones, our community, and our nation by doing what we can to support one another.
Because if we only get one opportunity to live life right then we need to make conscious YOLO choices that are the best decision for today while building a much brighter tomorrow.