Adding Value to Life

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By Shanuka Kadupitiyage

Although I would prefer to think otherwise, time never stops ticking, and that realisation hit home hard one evening during a conversation I had with an old friend of mine. 

Much like myself, he too had aged, matured and had lost more hair than he would prefer to. We spoke of some memories shared during our school days, when the realisation hit both of us. This was the type of conversation that we would make fun of our parents for having when they met with friends.  

We paused, letting that realisation sink in, when my good friend broke the silence. 

“Have you ever wished you could turn back time and be a kid again?” 

Why?

I’m sure you also might have had a similar conversation at some point of your life (if not, congratulations). It’s easy to see the appeal and glamour of life as a child once you reach adulthood. But the most interesting question is, why? 

Don’t get me wrong. Life as a child, free from the worries of the world, with the luxury of being able to live in your own bubble is a luxury enjoyed by children of the middle-class and higher. But I do recall that all I wanted to do as a child was grow up. 

Endless potential

What a child may lack in responsibilities, is made up for with the potential each one has to achieve greatness. Perhaps this is why children have the luxury to be so frivolous with their dreams and aspirations. Some may want to become an astronaut, another a doctor, while all little Timmy wants to do is ride horses and wrangle dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. 

This all changes with age however, and soon that potential that once seemed endless, starts to narrow itself down as more responsibilities are placed or accepted upon their shoulders along the progression to adulthood. Next thing you know, you’re in the middle of a mid-life crisis and are desperately trying to win back the dreams you once had.

Adding value to life 

But of course, life doesn’t have to be that way. While life may not be as free-and-easy as it was in childhood, your life today can be the best time of your life, with the future potentially even better. 

This can be done through identifying where value can be added into life, today. All it takes is some introspection and cultivating an ability to see the future potential in yourself. Although it may not be as limitless as it would seem in childhood, the tradeoff is a more defined, clearer image that can be achieved in realistic and time-bound measurements. 

It’s never a race

Some changes can be made easily, while some may take additional time. Many often lose hope, giving up immediately, saying that it’s too late for life to start over. What is often forgotten is that life is seldom a race. Joy and excitement can be found in the journey itself. 

I enjoyed my years of pre-adulthood just as much as I enjoy my time as an adult today. Each time has its highs and lows, as well as its challenges. Every day is an adventure and part of the journey towards being a better person.