You Only Get One Shot

I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

— Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton, The Musical

The instant you were born a hand reaches over and taps a button. You are too young to hear it, but far off in the distance a faint tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock starts to echo in your soul. Your life’s countdown timer has been started.

Now fast forward to where you are currently. For the majority of us, at some point life has told us that we need to settle. For the good of all those around us and because of decisions we’ve made previously, we shouldn’t reach for the stars anymore. People who reach for the stars only fall further and get hurt more. You’ve probably heard some things like:

  • “Settle for that job because you have bills to pay.”
  • “Pick that more common sense major because you’ll never be able to support yourself or your future family if you do that other thing you really want to do.”
  • “Go with what you know.”
  • “Play it safe.”
  • “Don’t rock the boat. It only causes conflict.”
  • “Blend in so no one sees you. The nail that sticks out gets the hammer, you know.”

Life has been teaching us these lessons (and others) since we were young. As a result, we’ve learned to live our life in the realm of “realism.” We’ve resigned ourselves to doing what we think we’re supposed to do. We’ve been told we’re not good or smart or beautiful enough to do that thing that we’ve always wanted to do. So we don’t do it. We never even try.

No One Gets Out Alive

Here’s the reality of your life: You only get so many trips around the sun. Every day we get closer and closer to the buzzer going off on our countdown clock. We don’t get to know when it will go off, we just know that at some point it will. You only get one shot at this life.

If that’s true (and it is), then that fact should hold some bearing on what we are doing with our one life. It should stop us and make us ask some hard questions. Questions like:

  • What is it that you really want to be doing with your life?
  • Are you doing that thing? If the answer is no, then why not?
  • Are you settling for less than your best life?
  • Are you just coasting, letting life lead you instead of you leading your life?

We’ll explore these and other topics in future posts, but for now I just want to get you thinking. We didn’t start out in life with a desire to settle. We started out with hopes and dreams and plans. Somewhere along the way we lost them.

It’s time we found them again.

October 19, 2018life