Life Is Short: 8 Steps For Embracing It And Following Your Dreams

I woke up this morning thinking about all the sadness in the world. I’m not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the news. Maybe not. But what I have realized over the years is something very powerful and motivating. The plain and simple truth is that life is short. You’re here one minute then gone the next.

It’s funny. We don’t actually think about this much. Until tragedy strikes us, we don’t give it a second thought. We never realize that life is short and it’s meant to be lived. Instead, we’re immersed in stress, anxiety and fear. Fear. That’s a word that many of us live and die by. Not physically. But emotionally and mentally. Even financially. Yes, sometimes even spiritually.

We’re all victims of fear. We all conjure up these what-if scenarios in our minds that drive us crazy. What are we so afraid of? Why are we so deathly running in one direction when we should be embracing fear? This has nothing to do with you or me or anyone else. It’s pre-programmed into our minds. We’re afraid of pain. All kinds of pain. So we try to embrace pleasure.

Tony Robbins often says that we’ll do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. We would do more to avoid $25,000 being taken from us than going out there and earning an extra $25,000. But this fear of pain is ruining our lives. Life is too short to live this way. It could just be our last day on earth for all we know.

We always hear about people being taken from this world too suddenly. Some calamity strikes and they’re gone. Here one day and vanished the next. As if they were some memory. And when that happens, you realize that life is incredibly short. But after the pain and agony of that subsides, you realize something else. Life is meant to be lived.

Don’t wake up another day to live in fear. Embrace it. Follow it. Love the fear. Move outside of your comfort zone and do things that you normally wouldn’t do because today could be the last day. You might not even know it. But if you don’t enjoy the journey rather than worrying so much about the past or trying so hard to achieve something far into the future, then what’s the point?

Sure, there are things that we need to do. There are goals that we must achieve. I know that. But what about this thing called fear? If you don’t tackle it, not only will you never achieve your goals at the highest level, but you’ll live a life so constricted by the mere thought of something that you’ll never extricate yourself from the confines of your own self-inflicted prison.

How To Embrace Life

Considering that life is so short, we have to embrace it. When I say embrace it, I mean the fear. Ever get that feeling, when you had been so afraid of doing something for so long, and then you successfully did it, that you suddenly became empowered by it? Something like public speaking or asking a girl out on a date. Stuff like that. Know what I mean?

Fear is very powerful. Most of us would rather live these complacent lives than to embrace and overcome our fears. But that’s not enough. That doesn’t work if you want to take life by the horns and really make something of it. When you live in fear, everything becomes a larger struggle because you’re fighting so hard to move away from the potential pain that you forget about what it means to live life itself.

As an entrepreneur, I can tell you that I’ve often lived in fear in the past. It wasn’t until I moved myself out of my comfort zone that I was able to take the bull by the proverbial horns. It wasn’t easy. Nope. Not at all. I was so used to living in fear for much of my life that I was stifled by it. But then something happened and I came to realize that life was too short to be paralyzed by fear.

So I embraced life. I welcomed fear. In fact, I beckoned it. I started doing things that I was deathly afraid of doing. And you know what? Some wonderful things started to happen. I found people who were ready and willing to help me. I began attracting the right things into my life. I wasn’t just thinking abundantly. I was acting it.

Through the failures in life, I’ve learned a lot of great lessons. I’ve learned about the nature of people. I’ve learned about business. Love. Contribution. And most importantly, about persistence. So if you’re sitting there thinking that you’re too afraid to embrace life after just realizing that life is incredibly short because some event has jarred you out of your thinking, here’s what you should do right now.

#1 — Write down everything that you’re passionate about in life

When was the last time you stopped to write down what you were passionate about in life? No. Not just think it in your mind. To actually write it down? Been awhile? There’s a certain switch that happens when we write things down. It moves from the abstract into reality. Thoughts materialize on paper in front of us. This is monumentally important.

Ask yourself what are you passionate about? Don’t answer something superficial like money. Money is just a conduit to something else like freedom or security. The question is about passion. You’re not passionate about money. Maybe about what money would bring. But forget about money for a moment. What else are you passionate about?

Is it your family? Is it helping others? Is it traveling? Is it new experiences? Is it reading books? Write it down. Write down everything that you’re passionate about and then a short description of why it means so much to you in life. This is crucial. Don’t skip this step.

#2 — Write down what you’re no longer willing to tolerate

We usually end up tolerating things because we’re too afraid of the alternatives. For example, you might tolerate a relationship because you’re too afraid of divorce. You might tolerate your 9-to-5 job because you’re too afraid of starting your own business and failing. Or you might tolerate your diet because you’re too afraid of trying to lose weight and failing or what others might think about you.

What have you been tolerating? What have you put up with in your life for far too long?  Don’t just think about it. Write it down. Again, writing it down makes it real. Thinking about it keeps it in the abstract. Write it down then write down why  you’re no longer willing to tolerate it.

Something uncanny happens when you do this. You won’t realize it right away. But your mind will start searching for ways to overcome those things that you’ve been tolerating for too long and have been holding you back in life. Watch. Just do it and you’ll see how it unfolds.

#3 — Revisit the big goals that you gave up on

When you realize how short life is, you begin to understand why you can’t sit around on your hands any longer. And that you need to revisit those big goals that you gave up on. Write them down. What did you want out of life that you gave up on? What did you settle for instead? Why did that happen?

We live in fear too often. We think that if we reach for something and fall flat on our faces that it’s the end of everything. We failed miserably. But you know what? That’s okay. I’ve learned more lessons through failure than anything else. It drives you. It motivates you to reach for more.

What’s stopping you from going after that goal? Remember, life is too short to allow it to slip through your fingers. Don’t let a tragedy jar you you and awaken you to that simple and realistic fact. Don’t ignore this. Do it right here and right now. Be honest with yourself.

#4 — Create a new set of empowering goals

Ever heard that saying, the best time to start is now? Well, it’s true. Rewrite your goals and create a solid plan of action. You can still go after goals that you had years and years ago. Did you know that Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of KFC, was 62 years old when he started what’s now become the most famous chicken restaurant franchise in the world? And it was after many many failures with just $105 to his name.

Don’t make excuses. Life’s too short for that. Create a new set of empowering goals that will fuel you and drive you forward. Don’t be afraid to fail. As long as you don’t give up, you won’t fail. Just get back up again and keep pushing. Complacency is not an option. When you look back at things, you’ll never think about the things you did, you’ll think about the chances you didn’t take.

It’s tough to have regret like that at the end. We’re so busy worrying about present-day problems that we forget about the long-term benefits of achieving our biggest and most outlandish goals. Go for it. Don’t cower away in fear. Push and push. Your future-self will most definitely thank you for it.

#5 — Come up with compelling reasons to achieve your goals

We will always do more for others than we’ll do for ourselves. With that in mind, come up with some compelling reasons for achieving your goals. What can you do for others? What can you do for your family or friends? What about for the community? What matters most to you? That’s what’s important. Not individualistic desires.

I know that you’re like me and that you would go out of your way for people close to you. You’d do whatever it took if they were in danger, wouldn’t you? Well, why not do whatever it takes now, even if they’re not in danger? What type of life can you provide for your family or what value can you give to the world if you were to achieve your dreams?

Figure that out and you’ll find the solution. Come up with reasons that you would quite literally give life and limb for. I’m not exaggerating. Think about it. In the past, didn’t you do whatever it took to achieve something when you really wanted it badly.?And I mean badly enough? Of course you did. That’s the secret sauce right there.

#6 — Write down 3 times in your life that you’ve overcome fears and succeeded

Fear produces stress and anxiety. It engulfs us like a wildfire. I hate that feeling. But it’s also true that we have all overcome our fears in the past. Even if they were little ones. We’ve had breakthroughs. Get back to that point, mentally speaking. What situations can you recall right now where you overcame your fears to succeed?

Even if it was something not major. That’s okay. But don’t just think about it. Write it down. Be descriptive. What were you thinking? What was going through your mind? How were you so afraid but were able to overcome it? What thought process did you have to go through to get there?

The biggest take away? Find out what you did to overcome that fear. And see how it can help you overcome what you’re afraid of today. Be honest. The more honest you are, the better. You have to walk through the pain. You can’t ignore it.

#7 — Do something outside of your comfort zone

We all have a comfort zone. I know I have one. But pushing yourself out of that is important. Even if it’s something small. For example, if you’re afraid of meeting new people, go to networking events and speak to others. Push yourself. It’s only temporary discomfort. But that temporary discomfort could mean a lifetime of empowerment and comfort.

It seems small. I know. But our little actions build up steam. It creates momentum. If you’re deathly afraid of public speaking, find a way you can speak in public. Embrace the fear. Literally. Life is too short to ignore it. It doesn’t take too much to get this going. If you’re deathly afraid of heights, get on an airplane or go up a really tall building and peer down the side. Whatever it it takes.

Your life is literally on the line here. It’s easy to ignore fears rather than to embrace them. But you embrace them, something happens inside of you that’s inexplicable. You change. And it’s for the better. It gives you fuel for the fire to achieve anything you want out of life. Nothing is impossible when you embrace your fears. Remember that.

#8 — Contribute something of value to help others

When was the last time you did something for someone else? Do you often search for ways to help others? For me, that’s one of the most important things in life. I want to find ways that I can help the people around me. And you should too. You know why? Because life is about contribution. It’s too short to only worry about yourself.

The best part? If you can find something that fuels you that’s bigger than just you, it gives you purpose. When you add value to the lives of others, an extraordinary transformation occurs. Imagine being able to make money doing something you love and also giving to other people at the same time.

Of course, this isn’t just about making money. You should find ways to contribute in any way possible. Donate your time to help others solve some problem or just to lend a helping hand. If you have disposable income, consider donating some of it. Do something to make the world and the lives of others better and you’ll begin to attract good things in life.