Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get busy living or Get busy dieing

(Reflect on your life and better it, Don't ignore it and let it fly away)

If you've watched The Shawshank Redemption then you understand the title of this post.

A lot of problems go on in America, and they stem from one thing, objects that get you busy dieing:

  • 1) Smoking
  • 2) Alcohol
  • 3) Illegal drugs, such as cocaine, weed, Meth, or Illegal Prescriptions drugs.
  • 4) Excess time on the Computer
  • 5) Excess time playing games
  • 6) Excess time in front of T.V
  • 7) Dreaming of being immensely rich (or wasting time trying)
  • 8) Dreaming of being a celebrity (or wasting time trying)
  • 9) Arguing for no reason (no reason = not learning anything, arguing for arguments sake, or because it's fun for them)
  • 10) Buying Expensive cars or wasting time adding hundreds of horsepower to average ones.
  • 11) Shopping for happiness, where you start buying unnecessary things. (You shouldn't be in love with malls, materialism has no good ending, nor does it lead to true happiness.)

Falling into Traps you've been warned about already

People fall into these traps, these holes that they've been told to watch out for.

You would think if someone warned you that a big pit was 5 feet in front of you, and you should change direction and walk around it instead, that you would.

You would think after being told that others would try to drive you inside that pit, that you'd be wary.

You would think after seeing the results of others falling in that pit, that you'd stay away.

You would be wrong though.


People, especially my generation, seem to be busy dieing, wasting away their lives on things that aren't important.

The things that used to matter in this world, that made you busy living, are now meaningless to most of my generation:

  • 1) Getting a proper Education (An Associates degree [a.a or a.s] at least)
  • 2) Preparing for a Family (Finding your wife, and making criteria for choosing her; saving for a home)
  • 3) Finding a career you love by exploring different classes and trying out different things (This helps you find your major and decide your future career)
  • 4) Planning your life, where to live, where to go to college
  • 5) Planning your finances (How am i going to afford college, what steps do i take, where do i work after college, are they hiring, who already works there)
  • 6) Having a daily schedule of things to do, followed up by a weekly and monthly outlook(Every home needs a calendar, you can start there)
  • 7) Assessing your day, and actions of that day, every night.
  • 8) Making short term goals of the above, and long term goals.
  • 9) Having a monthly budget, the moment you start working.
  • 10) Contemplating life and spirituality, it's meaning and your place on this earth.
  • 11) Contemplating about your Morality, where it is derived from and how you might change it to better it.
  • 12) Contemplating on Death, knowing that is your final resting place. (Death shows mercy to no one and treats the youth and the elderly the same)
  • 13) Putting a stop to materialism, injustice in the world, and helping your fellow man.
A shorter way to say it is: Planning all finances, all family issues, all career issues, all personal moral and spiritual issues, creating those goals, and organizing your time properly in a daily, weekly,monthly, and yearly manner to meet your goals.

The bulleted list is more helpful because it gives you concrete things to work on, and i mentioned the short list so you can fill in any gaps you have in your future outlook that i didn't add to the bulleted list.


Loans (The ultimate answer that doesn't answer anything):

It's just, when i ask people questions based on their future, no one really knows, or they give me horrible answers.

Every time i ask someone about paying for college, 9 out of 10 of them say they're taking out loans.

Then they just stop talking, acting as if the problem is solved, but there is an inherent question they never get to which is, "how will you pay those loans back?"

Bad answers

I ask them that and either they don't know or they give me a bad answer.

Such bad answers include:
I'm going to be a doctor or a lawyer, so after i work it will be easy to pay the loans off.

Why is that a bad answer?
Because they still haven't planned out their future.

To prove so i ask them "Which city do you plan on working in and who do you plan on giving your resume to?"

I've never received any answer to this.

What's worse is the majority of people haven't even made their own resume....

And then i continue, "Which doctors or lawyers offices are available in this city and are they hiring?"

They don't know the total number of doctors or lawyers offices, and they have no clue if they're hiring, and yet they want to work in this city....

Talk about not planning your future.

What's worse is when they don't have any idea where they want to live...

I mean you have wasted so much time, doing the first bulleted list at the top, you haven't even thought of where you want to live.... that has never crossed your mind?


There's a very nice quote I once read that addresses the importance of organization and planning:

"You spend 80% of your time organizing the other 20%"

If you did the opposite, you'd end up with an unorganized life, with unfulfilled goals, and end up dead never having done the things you love or wanted to do.

Is that how you want to end up.. Never having control over your life?

Or as Harvard business school says:

Productivity Means Working Smarter, Not Longer

Workers in the United States put in more hours at work and take fewer vacation days than those in most industrialized countries. But the U.S isn't the most productive country in the world. When it comes to full productivity, according to an article in The Economist, France wins, working only forty hours a week with lots of vacation. Conversations with clients and friends suggest we're working hard, but, well, stupidly. We're busy, but our important priorities are falling by the wayside as we work hard when we should be working smart.

Working smart means getting the same results in less time. To do that, you must change how you work. You'll get the most by changing your speed, increasing focus, and organizing to do things in parallel.

It continues with:

So your highest-leverage activity is taking regular time to reexamine and tweak how you work. This year, I'm spending a half-day every two weeks to build a life and business that are productive. And to me, productivity means producing maximum happiness for me, my family, and friends. I entreat you to do the same. Give it a shot. You'll be happier, you'll get more done, and you'll get to see your kids for dinner. And that's what I call working smart.


The key to life is to organize it. Organize it. Organize it. Plan it. Understand it. Research it. Organize it.

The first bulleted list at the top ignores life, it completely ejects you from the passenger seat and forces you to think of something else, putting life on the back burner.

Either get busy living or get busy dieing.

You will be doing one of the two, the question is which one are you doing?

Harvard Logo copyright of Harvard

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