Impermanence is the way of life. Nothing lasts forever. Have no delusions about that.
It might sound cliché to you but more often that not we tend to take things for granted. Even though we know that life is fleeting, we don’t think and act on it as much as we should. We are busier than ever, or like to think that we are. And we end up forgetting that life is transient. There is always tomorrow. There is always later. Or so our minds would like us to think.
Embrace impermanence. When you do, you will learn to show greater appreciation for the people and things around you. You will be happier. Rather than let the small things bother you, you focus on the people and things that matter.
Don’t wait until you experience a great loss before you realise the impermanence of life. Such a loss would inevitably bring pain, regret and suffering. Accept that nothing lasts forever and take steps to ensure that you should have little or no regrets.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits wrote an article that struck a chord in me. And it couldn’t have come at a better time when I read that. I had just received news that a mentor had passed away. It was merely a few days before that I wanted to reach out and get in touch. However, tasks on hand made me push that thought out of my mind.
Life is unpredictable, so the only way to get around that is to assume the worst every day.
“If you live each day as it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”—Steve Jobs
With that mentality, we will let bygones be bygones. Let go of the trivial. Cherish the time you have and make each moment the most enjoyable. You are out and something happened that made you unhappy. Rather than let that dampen your spirits, let it go and focus on having a good time.
Have you ever said something that you regretted but never got around to apologising for it? Tell that person. Have a poor relationship with a friend, colleague or family member that you wished was better? Be the one that reaches out and reconcile. If you are rejected, at least you know you tried. Go compliment that friend that you have always wanted to but for some reason held back. Express your gratitude for someone who had an impact on your life. Maybe they it is just something they need right now.
Put your devices away and engage the friend or loved one beside you. Appreciate being able to spend some time with your family or friends and enjoy the moment. Cherish the occasion.
Impermanence also applies to yourself.
I brought this up in my post about the meaning of life. Would you be happy with what you have done or have been doing if tomorrow never comes? Are you living a life that society or your family expects of you? Or are you doing what you really want to?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”—Steve Jobs
Embrace impermanence and live life for yourself. Chase your dreams. Live your dreams.