What Are You Doing With Your Life?

Tom Stevenson
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Tupac Shakur is one of the most famous rappers of all time.

Unfortunately, in September 1996 he met an untimely end when he was shot four times in a drive-by shooting. While the above is common knowledge, what isn’t is how old Tupac was when he died.

He was 25!


If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will!

Tupac managed to accomplish so much in such a short life, more than any of us will achieve with three times more time on this planet.

This begs the question, what we are doing with our time?

If Tupac could create music that stands the test of time till this day, and he did all that at a young age, then there is no excuse for any of us. Of course, not all of us were blessed with the creative talent and initiative as Tupac, but we all can create something special.

The problem is, most of us can’t be bothered. We are content to consume rather than produce, to be entertained than educate ourselves.

We have all had grandiose visions and dreams that we would have loved to make a reality, yet for one reason or another, they never came to fruition.

This is a sad fact of life. We all can create something, but it’s those of us that create something that succeeds, not those who merely dream about it.

To Do, Or Not To Do

When I hit my birthday 25th birthday, I hadn’t accomplished a lot. Certainly not as much as Tupac.

I had lived in two countries, Australia and New Zealand, working and travelling around both. I had graduated from university with a degree in history.

Apart from this, I hadn’t done much else. But, when I compare this to other people my age and see what they had done, I realised I had accomplished a lot.

It’s a sad fact, but the majority of us will never take the opportunity to live in a foreign country. While there is nothing wrong with this, and people are free to do as they wish, I can’t help but feel it is a wasted opportunity.

Living abroad has been one of the best things I ever did. I have grown so much as a person as a result. I have learnt more about myself and the world than if I remained where I was.

It has also allowed me to leave jobs that bored the life out of me and work for myself as a travel blogger. Had I not decided to take a chance and go on these trips I have no idea where I would be today!

We only get one shot at life, it’s amazing to me that people don’t try and make more of it. We are here for a short time and then we are gone. Is binge-watching series on Netflix the best way to spend that life?

I don't think it is.

For me, the issue comes down to laziness. It’s easier to consume than it is to create. It’s easier to avoid risks that will change your life and just coast along.

Doing this is a recipe for disaster. One of the most common regrets of those on their deathbeds is the things that they didn’t do when they had the chance.

In essence, life comes down to one question, to do, or not do?

Do you want to take a chance and do something that you’ve always dreamt of and which will bring you fulfilment, or are you content to let opportunities pass you by and exist rather than live?

It’s an important question, and one we need to keep in sharp focus at all times.

Extraordinary or Ordinary?

If you were to class Tupac as either extraordinary or ordinary, I’m certain the majority of people would plump for extraordinary.

He made some incredible music, which stands the test of time today. He is well-known around the world, despite his premature death. Yet, I wouldn’t consider him extraordinary. Talented, hard-working, and a master of his craft, yes, but extraordinary, not for me.

The reason for this differing opinion comes down to perspective.

If you look at Tupac and what he achieved, it’s natural to assume that he was extraordinary. This is because you are looking at the end result, rather than the process that got him there.

Everyone starts at the bottom. Apple hasn’t always been the technological behemoth it is today. Likewise, with Warren Buffet, he had to work at his craft to get to where he is today.

This is what a lot of us miss.

We forget that success is a process. A destination that takes time. We see the finished article and assume that this is beyond our capabilities.

We assume the extraordinary is only for extraordinary people when in reality it is ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Tupac achieved extraordinary things in his brief time on the planet. His 1996 album, All Eyez on Me is one of the best selling albums in the United States. While his records have sold over 75 million copies worldwide.

While they were extraordinary achievements, they do not make him extraordinary. He was an ordinary guy with a passion. One that he took to its full potential.

This is the difference we often fail to see.

The Takeaway

Tupac’s brief life and all that he achieved in that time should ac as motivation to achieve our own goals. There is no limit to what we can achieve. The only limitations are the ones that we place upon ourselves.

If Tupac can achieve all that he did at the age of 25, why can’t we achieve our own goals? Success is not some far-flung land that is impossible to reach, it is possible for all us, provided we are willing to work for it.

It should instil urgency in us to go out and push ourselves to greater things.

The reason more of us don’t achieve what we desire is because we are our own worst enemies.

We get in our way and perpetuate self-limiting beliefs which prevent us from achieving our dreams.

But dreams will remain dreams unless you work at them. The extraordinary can be achieved, but only if you work for it.

If you’re not willing to, one day you could wake up and wonder what you’re doing with your life.

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