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In One Hundred Years

Think forward to one hundred years from now. Where will you be? What will your life be remembered for? What you do today, then, matters.

Where will you be in one hundred years?

Chances are, not where you are right now. As in: not here. 

Ten decades from now, you will have passed from this Earth. Just like those who came before you a hundred years ago, your body will be dust and everything you purchased, owned, or rented will no longer be yours. You will no longer live in the house you do right now. You will not drive that car anymore. Your best clothes will have worn out. Your most prized possessions will have been sold, passed down, or simply broken. You will not have a 401k or investment funds. In one hundred years, the world will be a different place — and (whether our egos are prepared to hear it not) the globe will continue to spin through the vastness of space without you in it. 

What will stay behind are memories — memories of you — and only for a limited time. You children will remember you, and with some luck their children will too. But will their children’s children? Think about it: You may remember your grandparents, but how much do you know of your great grandparents? And their parents? Very few of us are remembered for more than one hundred years. Even in the age of selfies and YouTube, the memories of who we are today are going to have a limited shelf-life… 

These reflections are not meant to weigh you down. They are not meant to be rude, grim, or fatalistic. They are, more than anything else, just observations. Sure, they may pack a punch at first — even for people, like me, who are convinced that life goes on after death and that reincarnation is a reality. But the truth is there really is no great news or insight to these reflections anyone could not arrive at on their own after some introspection. But they do have a point: the fact that we will not be around in ten decades has the power to help us refocus our lives in the here and now. 

It all begs the question: If your home, cars, bank accounts, and most prized possessions will not last the test of time, then in what should you invest your time and energy? What — at the end of it all — matters most to you?

And when you arrive at that answer, the question that follows may end up hiting you harder than the first: are you living your life in accordance with what you believe is most important? 

Are you making time for the relationships you care about? Are you prioritizing the experiences you wish to live? Are you acting on the values that are most dear to your heart? Are you bringing into this world the change you want to see? 

Struggle with it for a while, if you would like, but do let all of that hit you harder than it needs to. There are good news. The most important thing to hold right now is that these one hundred years have not yet come to pass. They are a long way off. 

Right now, you have all the time in the world to cherish the people you love, the craft the experiences you wish to enjoy, to invest your resources in things that speak to you, to bring about the change you want to see for the world in this lifetime. In short, to live life in the ways you yearn to — and think you should. So, go hug your kids, kiss your partner, laugh with your friends, cry with your parents, dance with a stranger, learn something new, travel to that distant place, touch someone’s heart, change someone else’s life for the better, build something you are going to be proud of, connect with the sacred… After all, isn’t everything else just distracting you from what you want? 

Whatever is most important to you is waiting for you. Don’t let it wait. Don’t be the reason you are late for your rendezvous with fulfillment.

One hundred years is very far away for those, like you, who have all the time in the world in the here and now to make it all worthwhile. 

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