The Ultimate Cost of Procrastination

"Get busy living or get busy dying"

This is a quote from the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Tim Robbins character uttered it to Morgan Freeman's shortly before he broke out of prison. The basic gist was that each of us has a choice to make.

The reason I bring this up today is because I was chatting earlier with someone who lost a friend of hers. This person passed away at the age of 46 of an apparent heart attack. The death was sudden and painless. She met her end many decades before anyone would imagined.

Whenever I come across something like this, I get very reflective. How much time do I have? It is a question that none of us know the answer to. Realistically, today could be the last day for any of us. Life is a crap shoot in this regard. We are allotted a certain amount of time and when it is done, it is done.

The above quite is something that we all should remember on a daily basis. It is baffling to consider how much time we waste since we do believe it to be unlimited. Sure, we all know we are going to die. Nevertheless, most of us presume it will be decades in the future. This allows us to push down the road all the while wasting away the present moments. Our lives are full of "I will do it tomorrow".

There is an old exercise that self help experts put many of their students through. It starts with taking a piece of paper and writing on the top "what would I do if I only had a year to live". The exercise consists of simply answering that question. Imagine yourself with a terminal illness that means you would expire one year from today. How would you spent your remaining time? Contrast this with how it differs from what you presently do on a daily basis. I guarantee you will see a drastic difference between the two of them.

This brings me to everyone's favorite ally...procrastination. Getting back to the person I discussed earlier; do you think there were things she would have liked to do before she departed? If she is like the rest of us, I am sure there was. The same can be said for her loved ones. Each of us has things we would like to experience. However, we get caught up in the daily grind and tell ourselves we will get to it "later". Sadly, for this woman, there is no later. And, in truth, there might not be for us either.

The ultimate cost to procrastination is the sacrifice of your life. Most of us spend our lives busy "dying" that we fail to live. Instead of experiencing joy and happiness on a regular basis, we occupy our time with anger and worry. At the same time, we opt for the path of safety which causes us to miss many of the fruits of life. Fear is our primary motivator causing a life of stagnation. We are walking zombies.

Today is the time to make the decision to live. We all know people who passed on. Make a commitment to their memories to pack all you can into this life. Opt for saying "yes" instead of "no". Go out on a limb on a regular basis and take some chances. Many times you will be rewarded. Make the choice to get busy living.

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