On my way back from Palm Springs I saw a man almost die on the 10 freeway. The whole thing happened in slow motion. There was a guy driving an older burgundy Ford Explorer and somebody cut him off. The guy in the Explorer jerked the wheel to the right then tried to over-correct by jerking the wheel to the left. He spun around in a donut several times starting from the slow lane then bouncing like a ping-pong ball across the freeway into the center guard rail, face instantly thrust into his exploded air bag. His vehicle was facing traffic and my vehicle was right in front of his...nearly missing being swept up into the potentially fatal accident.
I pulled over after passing his vehicle, wanting to make sure the guy was okay. I noticed a few vehicles laying on their horns due to the "inconvenience" of having to slow down because of this accident. WTF? I wanted to make sure the guy wasn't bleeding to death. Two others stopped as well. One of the guys who stopped unbuckled the stunned guy's seat belt, getting him out of the Explorer since there was fuel and oil leaking everywhere. More ass****s were honking their horns...again, because they were "inconvenienced" for having to slow down.
I called 9-1-1 and told them to come out because the guy needed medical attention quickly. Apparently I was the only one who called for help for this guy. After the 9-1-1 call, I saw the police coming up so I exited the scene. They later called me on my cell phone for their police report. I was their only witness on record of the accident.
On my way home, I was haunted by the accident. My daughter was quiet too. She had never seen anything like it in her young life. It's hard to process on so many levels.
It's hard to realize how fragile life is and how quickly it can end at the worst stroke of fate.
It's hard to think that if we were even 2 seconds faster in our driving, that the Explorer would have spun into the passenger side of my vehicle, possibly killing my daughter who was sitting on that side of my Navigator.
And it's hard to process how shitty people can be when there's someone who needs medical attention and they, in their own selfish little worlds, are honking their horns because they are being slowed down due to this "inconvenience" in their schedule. (This makes me hope like hell that if any of those horn-honking screwballs are ever bleeding to death on the side of the road, I hope they all bleed out without a single person stopping or calling for help on their behalf because that's exactly what they deserve. Nothing. Freaking jerk offs!)
So many emotions were running across the board for me in the remaining hour I had driving back from Palm Springs this past Sunday.
But leaving out the part about getting angry at the losers honking their horns while others (like me) were trying to render assistance to this poor guy who desperately needed help, when things like this happen, it makes us realize that the end can literally come at any time without any warning.
It made me wonder...am I living the life I want NOW? If not...WHY NOT? Life can end at any time. And it's a waste of time to keep putting things off for "someday" or "when this happens I will [FILL IN THE BLANK]" or "when this is over with I will [FILL IN THE BLANK]."
And this is EXACTLY what I had been doing during my graduate schooling...putting too many things on hold until I finished it. It was an interesting irony for me to come upon this accident only hours after my graduate ceremony. Maybe it was a reminder that I should never put anything on hold and to live life to its fullest doing everything I want to do...NOW. Not later, not next year...but RIGHT NOW.
This applies to you too. You see, it's easy to see your life roll in from one year to the next, still talking about what you "will do someday" as the years keep moving forward. Then you wake up 30 years older, look around, and wonder where the hell the time went.
Or you end up in that split-second accident that ends your life. And not only did you never get to do any of the stuff you dreamed about, but now it becomes impossible to ever do any of it because you're now dead.
Pretty depressing, isn't it?
In the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, there was an interesting line in the movie that kind of says everything:
Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) says, "Forty-five years goes by pretty fast."
And Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) says, "Like smoke through a keyhole."
Yes...like smoke through a keyhole. That's how fast life goes.
Knowing how fast it's going, as you're reading this, what are YOU doing with your life that is bringing you to where you always dreamed you'd be by now? And if you don't have a damn good answer then you're not doing good enough for yourself.
Of course, it helps to have some kind of vision of what your perfect life masterpiece looks like. When you get that vision, you can THEN move toward that idea of your masterpiece.
And it may be as simple as sipping lemonade from your beach cottage porch and looking at the ocean as the sun sets every afternoon. Or spending more time with your kids or grand kids. Or traveling 1/3 of each year, seeing every wonder of the world possible and more.
Only you know what that vision is.
I used to think a vision needed to have something to do with making money. Then I eventually realized that the money making part is what's supposed to service your dreams for yourself. The dream isn't making the money (even though that helps to get to that dream). The vision IS the dream. The end-goal. The sunset-watching, lemonade-sipping, kid-playing part of the vision. THAT is the vision. Not how you get there. That's not the vision.
But here comes the clincher. You have to DO something else in between you (now) and the vision (future end-goal/dream) that BRINGS you to the dream that you have for yourself. Otherwise sitting around dreaming away and doing nothing about it will get you exactly nowhere except more of what you have now which may not be that great.
And the only way to get to where you dream is to push the envelope on yourself. You have to do things that are uncomfortable, beyond your "safety" zone, and that may scare the crap out of you in the beginning. If you're not willing to take these risks then learn to be happy with where you are now in your life because you'll never have or be anything more than where you're at right now.
Remember, you can have everything you want in life. But you do have to find the right path to get there and just go for it. Nobody is going to do it for you. Only YOU can do it for you. Only YOU can live your dreams...for YOU.
See you at the top!