What’s The Rush? — Learning How to Enjoy Life

Imagine this. It’s around 10:38am and I’m sitting in the front row of my Corporate Finance class. I just came back from my second midterm of the week. The teacher is taking 20 minutes to talk about algebraic formulas that we learned in high school. I’m tired. Why am I here?

Every MWF from 10 to 10:50

“This is your life and its ending one minute at a time”.

The faint words of Tyler Durden creeps its way inside my head. I haven’t seen the movie since I was 14 but it has had quite the lasting effect.

Thinking about that quote instantly makes me feel like sitting in class isn’t worth it. My life is ending after all. I should be outside exploring, soaking up the sun, and meeting new people. I don’t want the last words I hear to be “a riskless asset has zero correlation with a risky portfolio”.

I’m not sure what did it, but after a few more minutes of creating my own internal torture, I started to think of it in a different way. What if my life isn’t slowly draining away?

And, no I’m not talking about an eternal life.

Every decision I make. Every step I take. Every event I attend. Every class I sit in. It’s my life.

It’s happening in the minutes I take saying hi to people walking to class. It’s happening in the minutes I spend writing notes. It’s happening in the minutes I spend working extra hours on a Saturday morning, cooking dinner with friends, and reading by the pool.

Sure, it’s dry and stale at times (Corporate Finance I’m talking to you). But, when I take the time to pause, look around and just be grateful for where I am and the interactions that led me here, I can’t help but enjoy it.

When I think about it ending, it creates this irrational urgency that I have to get everything now now now. I care less about how I get there. Instead, I’m waiting to be warped into some lavish reality.

But, every moment is part of it. I don’t want to skim through life waiting to get to the climax.

It’s not going to be glamorous all the time. This is part of the package deal. But, I know it will be a good life if I can fill it with seconds that I’m proud of, that have a meaning, and that add to the bigger picture.

I’ve been changing some habits and have slowly been learning to love life more and more every day. Here’s a couple:

  1. Allocating more time towards personal goals. I’ve been half-way done with a book for the last eight weeks. This week, I gave myself 7 days to finish it. It took only about 5 hours spread within a couple of days and it made me incredibly happy to do so.
  2. Not dwelling on what other people think. This is something I’ve struggled with for the longest time. It’s caused me to spend way too many hours overthinking and restricting my actions to make sure they fall in line with what other people expect. While I still care what other people think, I’ve spent a considerably less amount of time dwelling on it; consequentially, this has opened up more time for me to focus on what I love to do.

As much as I like the movie Fight Club, I might have to switch the words around a little bit,

This is your life and you’re living it one minute at a time.
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