The Minute You Are Born

the minute you are bornSomething that my stepfather told me many years ago when I was a kid was, The minute you are born you start dying. To be honest… that sentiment has ALWAYS bugged the crap out of me.

The Minute You Are Born

The minute you are born you start dying… now as a kid, I admit that I was rather cynical and had a poor attitude about many things (everything.) Pessimistic would be a good word to use to describe me. However, as pessimistic as I may have been, this seemed a little too dark of a concept, even for me.

As humans, one thing that separates us from the animals is that we are or do become aware of our mortality especially later on the game as we become older. But even as kids we are taught early on and we do grasp the idea that we are going to die. I don’t know about you but I think one of my father’s favorite admonishments aimed at me as a young man was quite often, “Are you TRYING to get yourself killed?” So even as kids, we become aware at a very early age of at least the “idea” that we are not going be here forever.

So, while my mind STILL rebels at the original statement… “The minute you are born you start dying,” I do wonder why we still believe and act as if we might have all the time in the world in which to live our lives?

William Wallace purportedly said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” For me, this is a much more relatable concept as we are meant to live our lives and not just exist.

The bottom line is this… We have to stop wasting the time and the life that we have been given.

If anyone of us knew when we were going to die, or in the case of a terminal diagnosis, would you still be wasting time waiting for whatever?

If you had very little time left, and you knew that, what choices would you make or make differently so that you can get the most out of the time that you have left?

Would you still waste time on trivial matters and in pursuit of the “things” that in the end you would not be able to take with you anyway?

Would you choose to live without fear, and do what it is that you want, indulging in what you are truly passionate about for once in your life not giving a whit what others think of you?

But I guess most important of all, for the short time you might have left… wouldn’t you more than like likely focus on making the conscious decision to be happy, without cause, knowing that if you are not happy “now” you never will be?

One of my favorite “coaching questions” that I ask clients is, “What is stopping you?” What is stopping you from living a full life, or the kind of life that you might live if you knew you only had weeks or months left? Why is it any different?

I don’t really remember why my stepfather told me what he did that day and I have no idea as to what his real intention was. Maybe it is on me for having taken it so negatively, I don’t know, but what if we turned it around from the way that I originally interpreted it…

The minute you are born you start dying – instead of interpreting as just a dark notion that death is inescapable… interpret it as a resounding reminder to make the most of every day that you have regardless of your age in life. That is a much more positive way to look at it I think and one that I can for once, accept.

This is your life. Right now. Live it.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 1968 – Me

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