How Many Times Left?

by Dave Jackson

This one will get you thinking. Turn off the music, close the door. We’re talking meaningful stuff here. As a matter of fact, take a computer break and create a soothing beverage. The kind that nourish the soul. For me, it’s green tea. My favorite is bulk leaves, steeped just right – about three or four minutes. Another favorite is Zen, made by Tazo Teas. I originally fell in love with this one at the local Starbucks. I was on a tea only kick, giving up any form of coffee for around five years.

Okay, take the break and come right back.

You’re in for a treat. This is good news, but it can be taken the other way (bad) as well and make you depressed, if you choose to be. I say choose now to be motivated. Make what you read here something that will shake you and get you moving. Life is too short to not kick it up a notch. Live it a little fuller today.

How many times do we say things a little differently simply so it is more palatable? We have something within us that wants to twist and turn meaning just ever so slightly so it favors us, makes us feel better about the situation. I notice we do this a lot when discussing weight problems. “Yes, I’ve put on a few pounds, it’s just a little – something I can get rid of.” I’ve even heard people make it sound like what they have is more muscle weight when looking at them you know they’ve got more than that going on. Man, just tell it like it is! Fat is fat, no?

So truth is our guideline. And honesty. No copping out with wordsmithing something. Tell it like it is, baby. Well, have you thought of this one? First, let me ask if you do something a few times a year, say a vacation, or visiting a loved one. Say a fishing trip, or your annual retreat somewhere in the mountains.

Our family has trekked to Pine Mountain, Georgia every Labor Day weekend for the last three years. So, we go there every year.

So here it is: have you ever changed the phrasing to a more realistic way of saying it? Instead of saying, “We go there every year”, try saying it like, “I have about 10 more times left in my lifetime.” Instead of saying, “We visit grandma every year”, think of it like, “We have about 6 more visits to grandma.” That really puts things in perspective. How long do you really have left here?

No one really knows, but if you count things instead of saying – we do it every year – you stop faking your mind out. See, the other way, (every year), your mind thinks – years… that’s a long time… But if you say – 4 more times – that puts a little more urgency on the issue.

But don’t get depressed on me.

Let this information make each moment count, each visit more meaningful. Now your mind knows a number, you can see more clearly. Some things will become more important than others. Others, which you thought you could do every year will take on less meaning. So go for it – live life with gusto. We only have so many more times around the sun, then that’s it.

As I pondered this today, it made me every more excited to just do it. Just leave my fears at the door and make it happen for me. Isn’t that what life should be like? Come out of your shell and get juiced about being alive! My bet is that people will love you for it.

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Phantom September 13, 2005 - 12:10 am

Nice article. Really puts things into perspective.

g. September 14, 2005 - 9:53 pm


This is really good stuff. What an interesting and useful way to look at what we are doing with our lives.


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