Live While You’ve Got the Chance – Stop Being Busy Going Nowhere


Like pretty much everyone in America I was floating around Facebook the other day and a group title flashed up on my newsfeed. This group was titled “Inside Every Old Person Is a Younger Person Wondering What the Fuck Happened“. At first I kind of chuckled as it was a bit of a funny title, but then I let what the words meant sink in and really started to think on their meaning. The more I thought about it the more and more I felt my blood pressure rising. I was literally sitting there in the office, fingers on keys not typing, with a whole gym going on around me, and getting mad as hell. We’re talking I was heated after a few minutes!

I thought to myself about how true this is. Time, and life itself, is so fleeting. I know it’s cliche to talk about how none of us know how much time we have left, but it’s true. Lots of people think of time as this constant in their lives. Time’s sneaky, though. Even though it’s precious and there’s only so much of it available to us, time will disappear in a flash if we allow it.

In the midst of a good, old-fashioned seethe I looked out across the gym and, I’m not kidding here, what’s the first thing my eyes hit? The treadmills. There they stood: Bright and shiny, covered with blinking lights, IPod jacks, and arranged in rows with military precision ready to go to war against the chub of America (obviously a smashing success).

What was occupying them? Lots of people with vacant eyes going nowhere. Some of these people were going nowhere slow, others were going nowhere fast, but the bottom line is that they weren’t going anywhere and not a single one of them looked engaged in what they were doing.

Am I knocking treadmills? Not really, that’s a post for another time. What I am doing is acknowledging the obvious metaphor that was staring me in the face: It’s perfectly possible to just treadmill along, working hard, performing a hollow variation of a natural act (running and walking are natural means of locomotion), convinced that you’re accomplishing something, and yet going nowhere.

Life’s the same thing. All of us perform natural acts of life: We breathe, we eat, we sleep, we (assuming you’re not a Nice Guy) screw, we all do stuff to secure our life position and advance ourselves. But, like the treadmill, that notion of securing and advancing ourselves has become perverted in our society. It’s now very easy for us to fritter our seconds, minutes, hours, and days away with little tasks that we’re convinced are important yet after they’re all totaled up find us no further ahead. We’re not wealthier, we’re not leaner/more jacked/more fit, we’re not any closer to getting laid, and we’re definitely not any happier. We’re literally busy doing nothing but being busy.

And one day we wake up old and wonder “What the fuck happened?”. Apparently our next step is to join a Facebook group.

That’s BULLSHIT right there. A Facebook group? Really? Hell, that’s even worse than the old “My Friend Went To Florida and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt” consolation prize.

Look, I don’t know what happens when our time runs out, but I do know it’s going to happen. What I don’t want is for that time to come around and, if given the opportunity to look back on the path I traveled, to have to say that I put in a lot of effort and never covered any ground.

There’s a big, wide world out there. Man up and put your footprint on it.

What have you done to prove you’re alive lately?

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