Getting Life in Perspective Shows How Short Life Really Is

I haven’t blogged in ages. I could start most of my blog posts like this, but to be honest I’d love to write so much more, but juggling family, a busy job and everything else that is happening around me, I have to settle for less often than I’d like! The past 6 months have been a bit of a blur. I started a leadership course, which has helped me look at my own self and who I really am and where I fit into the world. I’ve also tried to take some time out of my routine to check where I fit into the world. I turned 40 a couple of years ago and that was a wake up call. When I was a kid I remembered my parents turning 40 and thinking that they were so old. And here I am, yet I feel young and fit and healthy with the rest of my life ahead of me…

During the leadership course, I found books that have helped me to discover things like wanting to get the most out of life. Books like S.U.M.O. (shut Up, Move On), helped me to stop what I was doing and learn to look at life from a slightly different perspective. Have you read Man’s Search For Meaning? I’d never heard of it before doing the course, but after a quick search on Amazon I found it and bought it. It took just a couple of days to read and I was blown away by Frankl’s experience in a series of concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Ultimately Frankl chose not to be affected by the situation he found himself in. He simply chose to not focus on it, but use happier memories to get him through. The mind is a truly powerful tool and ultimately helps all of us to overcome our addictions, if we can feed it with the right thoughts and focus. I figure if he can get through a concentration camp, then some of my troubles are too little and insignificant in comparison

I love to think about where I’ve come from and where I might end up. A couple of weeks back I bought some flip chart paper and wrote out the first 5 decades of my life and listed all the things that happened to me, when and where etc. Then after a while of looking at this paper and all the notes I’d written, I decided to do the same this time looking forward. So I charted out the next 5 decades and started to write all the things I’d like to have done by this time and that, etc. All of a sudden I was hit by the ‘oh shit’ feeling when I quickly realized that at some point on this side of the paper my life would come to an end. There was a sudden realization that life really is short. I could have passed the half way mark years ago, I might just be reaching it now. The fact that we just don’t know when life comes to an end is reason enough to put off putting things off and start being proactive now.

There really isn’t time to put things off. I’m so, so glad that I gave up drinking. The thought of wasting my life hungover, recovering from some of the sessions I used to have with friends, is just the biggest, saddest waste of time imaginable. My only regret was waiting till I was 36 to do it. How I wish it had been years before. But the point is that I did do it. I had to be really proactive and seize life by the horns. Being proactive helped turn my life around, and for the better. It took a huge effort to change a lifetime habit of drinking and boozing with the lads in bars and clubs and into one of more peace and tranquility.


Author: James

Sharing stories of recovery and strategies to help you keep sober. Visit my blog today -

2 thoughts on “Getting Life in Perspective Shows How Short Life Really Is”

  1. JG,
    Just a note to say hello. I happen to be following one of your posts from 2012 and a new comment allowed me to jump back to your blog. Having a few moments I decided to read a little. As a lover of learning and reading I was excited to see these books you’ve mentioned. I notice lately that I prefer to read a recommended book rather than a hit-and-miss (have several of those with bookmarks permanently in chapter two or three). Anyhow, no great words, just a thank you.
    my best, Lisa


    1. HI Lisa,
      Great to hear back from you as it’s been ages! These books really helped me out, especially Susan Jeffers, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ -find it on Amazon US/GB.
      Keep in touch,



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