When I wake up tomorrow and expect to live to be 80 years old, I have 20,725 days left to live. I made it easy for myself and calculated without leap years. On the basis of this calculation, a 40 year old has 14,600 days to live, a 50 year old 10,950 days and so on. I find that when we transform years into days, we become much more aware of how short and precious our lifetime is.
In a world that is getting faster and faster and more and more often puts us in situations that challenge us, we have the possibility to use this time in two ways: firstly, to let us drift, to give up responsibility for our lives and to take the place that we are assigned. Then you are not to blame for your own obesity, but genetics. Then the reason why you regularly arrive too late to work is the traffic or the children. The parents preferred the brother and that’s why I have a hard time dealing with my colleagues. The boss basically limits all my innovations, so I can’t develop freely and so on.
We are completely uninvolved in this way of life on the sidelines of our lives and have no influence on what happens to us. The reason for this quite common standard of living is that the alternative is much more strenuous. Secondly, to take responsibility. To become conscious, not the others and not the circumstances of life determine how I feel and how my life runs, but me.
I decide how successful I am in my work. If my boss is choleric and unfair I can defend myself or change jobs. We are never slaves to circumstances – we can always do something. That’s not easy. In doing so, we often have to move outside the norm and oppose the normative pressure of our environment. Who does not know this pressure or does not believe in it, can color himself tomorrow times a pink streak or to the greeting the foot and not the hand give. But the limitations we impose on ourselves to recognize and remove are even more difficult.
For a long time I thought I couldn’t park. I was of the firm conviction – I cannot do that. It took a lot of effort just to put this little sentence of faith about me. It is easier to live standardized and irresponsible than to take all the time in the world for a small parking space while the cars honk behind you. But I don’t think we have time to act irresponsibly anymore. Life is too short for a job that makes us unhappy, for the wrong friends or for the wrong partner. We don’t have time not to take responsibility for ourselves. Every morning I decide to live in a world where I decide what happens to me.