Something happened on the 6th of January 2014 that made me realize more than ever that it’s plain silly playing the safe life in the comfort zone.
We often believe that we have enough time to do what we have to do; that the perfect time will come when all the chains of hell shall be broken and you match on the streets of gold to possess your possession.
If only life was meant to be that way.
When things falls apart…
My sister, an ambitious, vibrant and promising young lady, wasn’t just a woman with dreams but a proactive lady who is not willing to wait until an envisioned sunny day when all creatures shall creep out from their hiding places and play under the caress of a bright yellow heavenly body.
For her, ‘now’ is always the right time to start; she always make the best of the resources at her disposal.
Together, we often discuss business and the next opportunity to explore. I remember how we passionately, often almost in tears, discuss how we don’t want our parents to suffer at old age, especially our mother.
She talks about how she’ll raise her unborn children, “My children will not go for all this music and dance shows. They’ll go for quiz and debate competitions; they’ll be sharp and smart kids.”
On the other side of her life, she always complained bitterly about how demanding and stressful her job was, and the nonchalant attitude of her boss towards her health and well-being. She makes her go home late even when there is nothing left to be done at the office.
When she complains about not feeling fine, her boss never takes her seriously.
On a particular night, she got home at about 11:30pm in tears. She was kidnapped and robbed. The culprits asked her to get into their car at gun point and drove her to Victoria Island where she was forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
She kept waiting and hoping for the perfect time to quit this God forsaken job. In October last year, we had a family reunion in honor of her marriage. Hopefully now that she is married, things will get better at the office, she thought. She anxiously awaited her transfer.
During our last discussion, she told me about her plans to relocate to Ghana with her husband and start a new life there. They were already making plans towards achieving this goal.
But all her dreams, hopes and aspirations was cut short on the 6th of January 2014. She had been having this consistent feverishness. Though she visits the hospital and take drugs, she never had the rest she deserved; no thanks to her job.
That early morning, as memorable as yesterday, we lost her. I stared at my sister lying lifeless at the EKO hospital mortuary. For me, it was much like shooting a movie; I earnestly waited for the movie director to echo, ‘cut’, so everything becomes normal again. That didn’t happen.
Yes, her colleagues, including her boss expressed sincere concern, pain and grief for her death, but guess what? Someone else has taken up her position. Life goes on.
She is dead; gone; never to return again.
Life is too short to give a damn!
I often use the phrase, “Life is short” when I find the need to. The sudden death of my sister made these words more real than ever.
Remember this, my friend;
Life is too short to be wasted on activities and events that do not bring you closer to your dreams and aspiration;
Life is too short to be spent with a boss that doesn’t care about your well being;
Life is too short to not yield to that inner calling because you are worried about what people will say;
Life is too short to be held captive in a job you won’t wish for your children, no matter how much money you make from it;
Life is too short living another person’s dream as your own.
When Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers was diagnosed of Cancer of the Pancreas, his doctor told him that he should expect to live no longer than three to six months.
I leave you with what he (Steve Job’s) had to say about that:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
In the end, nothing matters more than a fulfilled spirit. What’s stopping you from making that important life decisions? Is it really worth it?