In the movie About Time, a young man learns that he is able to travel back in time. He uses this ability to relive his life, correct mistakes, and in general make better and bolder decisions. After reliving every day of his life for years he eventually stops because he has learned how to live deliberately, and thus doesn’t need to redo life, “The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”
Looking at my own life I can’t say that I come close to living each day deliberately. My major accomplishment for the day was writing a few hundred lines of code at work. The biggest risk I took was eating at a new restaurant for dinner. I didn’t really make the world better, or deepen the connections I have with the people in my life. If today was my last day on earth this is not how I would have spent it.
Trying new things, putting myself out there, and giving life my all is exactly what brings me joy and gets me where I want to go. All of my long term choices are highly deliberate. I’ve done enough big things that I now have an easy time tackling large and difficult quests. However, when it comes to doing smaller things and how I live in the moment, it’s not as easy for me. As a result I spend many days like today, instead of living life to the fullest. In the past few weeks multiple people have brought up this divergence between my long term boldness and my day-to-day blandness. Each conversation came to the conclusion that I needed to literally carpe diem.
So, how can I start living more deliberately on a daily basis?
I think a natural place to start is with incorporating microadventures into my life. I live in arguably the greatest city in the world now, and have a plethora of events and cultural institutions to immerse myself in. Although I do go to quite a few tech meetups, I should expand my horizons and partake in a wider variety of activities. I also haven’t been on an outdoor adventure this summer (not counting the many nautical mishaps that come with living on a boat). I should get out and go hiking or rock climbing, or just enjoy central park.
Hopefully I’ll become better at living every day to the fullest, but only time will tell.