Nov 17th

2010

Life Is (too) Short – An Invitation

I wasn’t at all planning to do this. In fact I wasn’t planning to write what I did yesterday. But like I said, it just needed to come out and I think best by writing. And over the last 24+ hours I’ve been humbled, moved to tears and further entrenched in my resolve to live moment by moment, love harder, laugh louder, and risk more. It seems many of you have too. I think anything more I say now will only water down what I most want – and that’s to hear from you. Some of you wrote really moving comments, and if others of you haven’t read them, I encourage you to. But let’s take it a step further.

I’m asking you to help me with an experiment in community. If the internet is like a big house,  then this blog is a rapidly expanding living room filled with friends. Yesterday’s post seemed to stir something for many. I’d love to hear from you. And if it’s helpful for you to nail your colours to the mast, this is a good chance to do that. It’s great to be inspired, it’s another thing altogether to allow that fire of inspiration to ignite something that propels you forward.

You can write as much or as little as you like, but your words may resonate with someone in ways you could never have guessed, so be free with them. There’s a lot of people reading this thread – so if you’ve been moved to make a change, here’s an invitation to share it by finishing this sentence in any way you like:

Life is short, and therefore I will…

You’ll be hearing mine in a post very soon. For now, it’s your turn. Be bold. Be specific. And then go take that scary first step.

Comments (214)
  1. November 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…live it without abandon and do as many good things as I can before I leave this world!

  2. November 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    live as if I only have a year left before I die, to live as strongly and passionately as I can, to make an actual difference in the lives of my fellow human beings, and when the time comes to be able to say with a smile on my face, “I lived a life that was worth living. I have no regrets”.

  3. Robert Toborek

    November 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will do my best to live longer.

  4. November 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    continue to follow my heart…
    continue to love passionately…
    continue to appreciate the little things and the big…
    continue to try to make a difference…
    continue raising my boys to do the same…
    believe in my abilities as much as people think I do…
    stop putting so much pressure on myself to achieve…
    and try to accept my ass (literally, hey I’m not above a little vanity)
    Oh, and make sure to always make time to read anything you write so that I can continue to be inspired by you as a person and an artist

  5. November 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will try to meet as much of it as I can.

  6. November 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    ..continue to try to be the best person I can be for both my husband and myself, the best photographer I can be, and to not take a single minute for granted.

  7. November 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Life is short; Act with passion and deliver with purpose.

  8. November 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Hi David,

    Just had a client walk out the door asking if I followed your blog. Funny I said, “I’m five pages from finishing Vision Mongers and I haven’t stopped by the man’s blog.” So here I am and I’m so glad I came. What a heart you have and I’m so sorry for your friends and email you received about the man who passed from leukemia. If it’s I’d like to share something, 5 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare condition call Neuro-Sarcoid. It attacked my spine and I couldn’t walk for a year. 34 years old with a wife, a 2 year old, a 6 month old and a full time photography business. I had 24 weddings to shoot that season and by the time I got to June i was on crutches, inching along dragging my feet, always a human tripod. Long story short God is good and I got better. Even shot some of me best images ever. As of today I can walk under own my power and shoot and and play with my now 3 kids. The reason I shared all this is because for the past 3 years I’ve lived life hesitantly, afraid that this thing would return and that fear colored my future and thinned my hope. But this is thought I had today, I can’t live like that anymore, the best of me does have to be conditional it can simply be. God says if you have light why would put in under a bed, set it out for all to see. I have to agree, that is where the real Gold is. So thank you for your conviction, it has for me been a confirmation. God Bless all you do David and thanks for Vision Mongers it was an encouragement big time.

    Peace,

    Chris Keels

  9. Pinky

    November 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    …treat each day as a gift. Live simply, laugh out loud, treat each one kindly and respectfully. Love deeply.

  10. November 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… Stop living in the future and start living in the present. Why do we all want so much for the next day, the next week or even the next year to come. Why as human beings do we need more instead of enjoying what we have now. Recently I gained a little perspective. Yesterday *excuse me*, 19 months ago when my daughter was born (after losing our first son when he born at 24 weeks) I started to realize how short this life can really be. I mean, look at my son Mason who was only with us for 3 hours. Due to some pretty extreme circumstances, I was actually the one who delivered him and got to experience something that many never would. I was the first one to ever hold him and even as extreme as that moment was… I will always cherish those very short 20 minutes that I did. By chance, or for those of you who may share the same beliefs – by the grace of God, we were blessed with another pregnancy and 8 and 1/2 months later were blessed with our little girl Emily. I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was and how many may never understand truly how deep those feelings were. Since then, I have been busy with building a business, moving, editing photos etc… I have forgotten how fortunate I truly am. After reading David’s post yesterday, I feel a renewed sense of urgency to really soak up the time I have. Instead of hoping for next year to be profitable or looking forward to a new lens, I will instead enjoy those moments when they come but for today and every day after I will feel blessed for what I have… Life! With my daughter and beautiful wife.

    Thank you David for writing and for fostering such an amazing community of some really great people! I truly appreciate the perspective and look forward to seeing the rest of the comments.

    Sorry for rambling on but I also appreciate the invitation to share.

  11. November 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… Let those I love and those who are important to me know what they mean to me. A number of years ago I emailed my oldest brother, who had been a major influence on me, to tell him what a great brother he was and how much he had influenced me. I learned after he died that he had printed out that email and kept it among the few belongings that he retained as he got older.

    I have resolved to make a habit of letting others know the good they have done and Thanksgiving is a perfect time to do that.

  12. Simon

    November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… strive to overcome my lack of confidence and low self esteem, and attempt to create photographs that can maybe one day move others as much as others’ photographs have moved me.

  13. November 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    … Feel the Fear and do it anyway.

  14. November 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    life is short so therefore I will continue to wear my heart on my sleeve, live in the moment and not be afraid to let passion by my guide. I won’t worry if I crash and burn because at least I know if that happens, I gave it my all and I won’t have any regrets.

  15. November 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I am torn. I dream of living an exciting life in which I do many things, including making an impact as a photographer. I want to travel and see as much of the world as I can. I want to experience different cultures and meet interesting people. However, I don’t want to end up in my late sixties living in a dumpy, smelly, old folks home living on a meager Canada Pension which boils down to a welfare rate.

    In the early 90’s, I installed gas heaters in a “plus 55″ building in East Vancouver. It was a real old building and very smelly. The bachelor suite rooms were maybe 300 sq. ft. It broke my heart to see how these people were living. Going into their homes, you knew that they had their prime years. One guy was a golden gloves boxer another guy was a WWII vet. The sad part is that they were spending their golden years living in squaller. My Mother always says, “live for today”… I don’t. I can’t. I have seen where that can lead to.

    It takes money to live. We need a roof over our head. We need to get around. We need to feed and clothe ourselves. In our society, it takes money. Actually, it takes quite a bit of money. There doesn’t seem to be much of a way around that.

    I am not saying that I will NOT do any of the things that I want to do. I am just trying to do it financially responsible, trying to find a balance between work and pleasure. It will take time to scratch off all the things on my bucket list. Ideally, pleasure would be my work but that seems to rarely work out. For instance, how many actors in L.A. are serving tables?

    I don’t want to be like an old high school buddy either. He has been following his dream for 15 years now. He wants to be a manager of bands/musicians. I guess he made some bad decisions along the way. The last I heard from him about 4 months ago is that he is living on the street on the Down Town East Side. You may be thinking that he is a drug user or boozer but you are wrong. He is neither. I admire him for not giving up on his dream but I do not want to end up in his position. I guess that he didn’t calculate his risks. Some people may are ok with being the “starving artist”. Not me. It would kill me.

    So, my quasi loose plan is to become financially independent THEN I will have the resources to chase my dreams while not worrying about being homeless or living my golden years in poverty. I grew up in poverty, at least by Canadian standards, and I didn’t like it at ALL! For instance, I wanted to play ice hockey as a boy. Guess what? I couldn’t. My parents did’nt have the money.

    It’s hard to dream when you are worrying about how to pay next month’s bills. Anyways, I am off to Cuba next week on a trip that I should NOT take, though, the flights were paid for in Sept. I got some hefty bills to pay that will end up coming out of my line of credit because I lost my job 6 weeks ago. I don’t see employment for me till next spring.

    BTW. I scratched “Ride a motorbike” off my bucket list 3 years ago. I will be selling my 2007 Yamaha FZ6. 13,000k on it.

  16. Ryan

    November 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will quit my miserable career of the past 6 years and chase my dream of being a photojournalist. I’ve lived most of the first 33 years of my life according to someone else’s plan, always doing what seemed reasonable or responsible, and never with an understanding of why. Every day is a losing battle to find motivation or fulfillment when you spend the bulk of your day doing something you hate. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I think) I found something I’m truly passionate about a little later on in life. I’m financially stable enough to chase that dream and I have no rational reason not to do so. I fully expect to fail – and fail often – but, as you said in yesterday’s post, I’d rather fail at chasing a dream than to continue “succeeding” at something I never really wanted in the first place. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Regret is a powerful emotion. I have enough regrets in my short life so far, I refuse to let another one push me around. Thank you for your inspiring words.

  17. A Canuck

    November 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    - Find serenity. Change what I can, and accept what I can’t. And learn how to tell the difference.
    – Plan my day, and then review at the end of the day. Any regrets in how I spent my time? What can I do differently tomorrow?
    – Start planning for my early retirement, five years from now. What do I want to focus on, once time is not a limiting factor? Where do I want to live? How can I give back to my community?

  18. November 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… cherish the time that I am given with a smile in my heart and comfort in my soul.

  19. Thomas Vaclavek

    November 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… act according to my values and principles to enjoy the positives and learn from the negative things that I encounter. I will not allow myself to be disenchanted by life and people’s actions when they do not align with my principles. And most of all enjoy and make the most of my time while I still can.

  20. TerriG

    November 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    - drink good wine.
    – skip (most of) the late nights at the office.
    – spend quality time with friends and family.
    – take lots of photos.

  21. marjan

    November 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    life is short and therefor i will appreciate all my blessings (and I am very blessed to have so many), connect with people (and not only those whom i love) and enjoy life to its maximum capacity. i am very contnet to do this on a daily basis with small things and from time to time with big events such as travel etc but i find enjoying and taking note of the everyday (in my garden, my wonderful children and grandchildren, colleagues, art, music, photography of course, books, food etc) is as important (if not more important) as enjoying the big things which for most people can only happen from time to time and that for me is fine. being content is not a state of mind which gets a lot of good wrap nowadays but for me it is an important and blessed state of mind which i very much like sharing with others. my score on this very good happiness test http://makingaustraliahappy.abc.net.au/ which is part of an excellent tv programme in Australia was very high because i count my blessings to use that old saying.

  22. Teija

    November 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    life is short therefore i’ll try to treat each other life form with more respect, love and gentleness. i’ll try to remember the world doesn’t revolve around me, or my many whims and goals. i’m re-learning to stop and pay attention to others.

  23. November 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Life is (too) short, I will not waste too much time worrying about it.

  24. Bob Dein

    November 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Life is short, so I will let you know that I am a silent follower of your blog, your work, and that it makes a difference in my life. You should know that there are many of us silent “lurkers” out here who are changed by your efforts.

  25. Marie Switkes

    November 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Oh my goodness. So much emotion. Ten years ago I lost my husband to cancer. Three years ago, I thought it would get me too. I am being “maintained” on meds with little/no side effects and am moved to say “thanks” nearly every day. My energy level and enthusiasm carry me along and are probably why I am still here. I, too, want to capture the beauty of the world I see in photos and paintings. I want to travel the world and see all sorts of cultures and people and environments. I want to do what I can to make life better for others. I want – I want – I want. I want SO much and like everyone else on this planet have no idea how much time will be given me to do all that I WANT. So, I’ll just keep on, enjoying time with the people I love, getting out to travel and photograph what moves me, and being stimulated by discussions such as you have here launched. Thank you so much.

  26. PanDa

    November 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Art is long, Life is short and I know that.

  27. Stacy Layburn

    November 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    life is too short, therefore I will forgive. I will forgive the relationships I have had that have brought me such pain. I will embrace the love that I have today. I will stop being so afraid to love myself. Because fear has paralyzed me in so many ways, only love can set me free. I once had an angel tell me that I should not worry about dying, because there is so much more to life than this. In life he was my dear friend.

  28. James B.

    November 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…find what it is that inspires me and live the dream I’ve had since I first picked up a camera.

  29. Joe

    November 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will face my fears and fight in that tournament in February, then move to the city I have been talking about moving to.

  30. November 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will savor every juicy bit of it. Awakening each morning in gratitude, heart overflowing with love for all of creation, I will immerse myself in the ever renewed gift of life. Life is short. The moment is infinity.

  31. Anfum

    November 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Life is Short, and therefore I will work toward getting the real me out from under the me that I have become

  32. November 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    2010 has been a tough year for me to say the least. Throughout the negativity and downs I have missed out on some moments and lost perspective at times. Prior to your post yesterday I had already started taking initiative + making changes with a refreshed outlook. I will continue to do so in both my personal + professional life and will get back to a place of enjoying the opportunities in life and indulging in my passions.

  33. Kimberly

    November 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Life is short therefore I will…let go of the things that have let go of me. My life completely fell apart the summer of 2005. My then husband (of thirteen years) was a minister at the time, and he was unfaithful. But he was also dishonest and when our marriage fell apart he blamed me, told not only his family but the congregation and even my own family that I was the one who had an affair just so he could keep his church and his reputation. I lost literally everything including my home as well as most of the people in my life that I thought loved me. I also lost my faith in a God that would take care of me. I moved to New Orleans just after Katrina because it seemed fitting, a ruined city, a ruined life, a chance for us to both rebuild and start over together. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love it here, I’ve since remarried, and now I’m in university studying art history and photography. But I still hold on in my heart to the people that I have lost and it still hurts sometimes. I need to learn to love them but move forward without them. I need to stop waiting for reconciliation or approval that is never going to come.

  34. November 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Last year I spent the year in Iraq as a Soldier, I was away from my family, my photography, my sanity and my loves. While I made great friends and had a life changing experiences I learned that life is to short to not live to the fullest and by my own terms. Life as well as my photography is about my perspective and my passions

  35. November 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Hi David,

    Life is short…when my wife Lisa (38 now) suffered her first of two major strokes almost three years ago we were hit with a major reality check. She had to learn to walk, talk, and use her hands all over again. Today she still struggles with the damages caused by the strokes but we live each day thankful we are still together.

    During the overall course, journey if you will, of trying to live the dream as a creative (I’m an oil painter and photographer) there have been a lot of ups and downs. When Lisa got sick I selfishly thought how I’ll never be able to make a living doing the things I love. I immediately realized health care expenses, every day living expenses, and so on would be too much for this small town creative geek to be able to handle if I simply chose to be a photographer and quit my regular job with health insurance.

    I still struggle daily. I feel there is a serious prison that has been built around me and that someday I will die without ever feeling the rush of working for myself in the creative world. This is a real pain in my heart.

    And this is why I am commenting. For many, there is this desire, and overwhelming urge to become a “professional photographer” or “full-time photographer” – you get the idea. I am content with working on an assembly line and photographing the stuff I do if it allows me and Lisa to live a certain standard of living and afford our medical expenses. It is what it is, and I am not delusional wishing and wanting, nor will I risk losing everything to follow a dream when my responsibilities are to her. I am a husband, a father, a creative geek. I don’t need approval from an industry in order to feel good about the photographs I make.

    Lisa is still here, she is the love of my life and the mother of our children. What greater gift can I have than to say I get to be her man, have a great paying job, and play rock-star freelance artist and photographer for extra money and to make great photos and paintings?

    Life is short; don’t wait to be reminded of how precious your loved ones are. Be who you are, and do your best.

    By the way David the offer still stands. My patio, a few beers, and steaks on the grill. Lisa and I would love to have you over.

    Your friend,

    Mike

  36. November 17, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    After reading your post yesterday, David, I wrote a post reflecting on some recent thoughts about our family’s adoption journey and my role in it. Life is short. We should do things that matter.

  37. November 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Life is short and I will stop complaining that I’m too tired when I stay up too late after a long day at the office to work on my books, my photos, that which feeds my soul instead of my checkbook. I will not give up. I will say thank you to those who make a difference in my life – thank you, David, for putting yourself on the line and challenging us to do the same.

  38. Walter

    November 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    …make a conscious effort to step back and take a deep breath more often, to really appreciate and be thankful for the many gifts each day brings. While nowhere near as traumatic as some of the other stories posted over the last two days, my wake-up call came 5 1/2 years ago when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer (according to the doctors, she’s fine now — though you never quite have the same certainty about future things that you did before…). Since then, I’ve tried to be more thankful, to make sure the ones I love know it, and to generally be a better person, but your post yesterday was a great reminder — thank you. I’ve also given myself permission to pursue my photographic dreams more actively, and want to thank you for all the encouragement, wisdom and guidance you share through your writing.

  39. David

    November 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Mike – I can’t tell you how much this moved me. Fact is, photography is not life. Traveling is not life. You have a treasure beyond words in your love for, and from Lisa. Loving hard, and without regret, is a deeper, richer, more wonderful thing than any other adventure and I know this not from having it but from having never experienced it the way you describe it. It’s easy to be a hero by exploring the world or doing something visibly bold. it is much, much harder, to be a hero by loving as deeply as you do daily.

    Thank you all for sharing. Kimberly, your honesty and candor blows me away, as does yours, Chris.

    None of this is easy. I’ve tried hard not to be prescriptive about this – I’m not telling anyone how to live, or what does or doesn’t constitute living boldly, I’m just saying we all need to do so without regret. No question, it’s hard. What story that we love and re-tell, doesn’t push the protagonist through something we’re not sure he’ll survive? What epic story doesn’t ask the hero to do something he’s reluctant to do?

    I’ve got a lot of fans, but I’d rather have friends and heroes and you guys are that to me. Thank you!

    Keep em coming, folks.

  40. November 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Life is too short, therefore I will take every opportunity that I can to be involved in the lives of others in meaningful ways. I won’t be afraid of being rejected or punished for trying. I will concentrate on those who wish to receive my love and keep my heart open for those who cannot or will not but one day might.

  41. Kat

    November 17, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Life is short, so I will start trying harder to dig myself out of this miserable depression that has consumed the last ten years.

  42. November 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I will love my wife and kids each day, and do my best to not wake up wondering, “what did I do with my life?”

  43. November 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Like Lyle Lovett says “Listen to your heart that beats and follow it with both your feet”

  44. November 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… live each day as if its the last, following my gut/heart more often, accepting what I can’t change and make the most of it, and change what I can do/impact. And starting this weekend, I’m enacting a few of those changes I’ve hesitated on for awhile now. Thanks for the invitation/challenge and the reminder.

  45. November 17, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Life is too short, and therefore I will never take my wife, family, friends, health, mobility, skills, or general well-being for granted. I’ll treasure them everyday.

  46. Ken Udle

    November 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I wrote yesterday that I was diagnosed with Lymphoma 3 years ago. Chemotherapy did what it was supposed to do and now I’m more than 2 years clear. I’m not considered cured, we may not be able to say that for a long time yet. My initial diagnosis however was less than accurate, my wife and family we led to believe I had pancreatic cancer with less than a year to live. You can imagine the stress they were under – maybe you can’t. For my wife and me, the journey back to a new normal has not always been an easy one but we are making progress, day by day. Life is short, therefore we will continue to support each other, pursue simple joys, be impulsive when we can, learn new things, and most importantly keep a sensible balance between work and life. I’m 33 years into my career. Retirement from the public service is 3 years away. Some tell me to go now but I feel I have a little more to offer and while I’m still able, I’ll stay on track with my plan. Photography has been something of a life saver for me. It has opened so many new possibilities for me, too many to list hear. Your books have played an important part in my journey and I’m grateful for that. Thank you.

  47. November 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    David–wow you are speaking to me right exactly smack-dab where I am standing. For a long, long time I have been playing the game and making nice, appeasing others, doing what’s right, what’s expected….not that I haven’t made one billion mistakes doing it, but all the time I have known deep down that THIS is not an authentic life, is not the me I was born to be. In the past few months the pull to live the life I dream of has become so strong it has overcome reason and resistance. I am in the process of cutting away everything, fears, excuses, expectations, barriers. I am doing some risky things, some would even say foolish things. That’s OK. I’m NOT AFRAID. All this trying hard to be “good” and respectable has lead to naught for me. Honestly, I’ve about lost everything. Honestly, I’m happy anyway. So what if now, before its too late, I do not what’s RIGHT, but what’s REAL FOR ME? That’s what I’ve come to and that’s what I’m doing. I can’t help but think that all the set-backs and losses along the way have just been signs, trying to tell me that I was going the wrong way. Life is too short, so now its UTurn, watch my dust and gratitude for the good things that were part of the life I’ve lived so far…especially my kids, who are by FAR the best part of this life and the part with absolutely not a single regret. But now I will model for them something entirely new and different. And I hope they follow their own dreams where ever they lead. Thank you for always speaking right into my heart. I don’t know how you do it.

  48. November 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Life is short and therefore I will…. not be absent while present – always being aware of the needs of those around me first… starting with my family then moving out to others…
    Thanks David

  49. Brett Walker

    November 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Life is short and therefore I will… live in the NOW and learn to see each and every moment with an open heart.
    I am an enthusiast photographer that makes a living through practicing Chinese Medicine. Every day through the clinic I meet people who teach me about life as much as I help them through various illnesses. Hearing their stories confirms for me that our minds and bodies are not separate and therefore our self limiting beliefs become entrenched in our bodies. The entrenchment playing out as forms of illness.

    If we do not listen to our inner child that has dreams and aspirations and learn to feed that yearning with compassion and understanding then we are denying an aspect of ourselves that wants to embrace each and every moment of life.
    Too many realise this on their death-bed. By then it is too late. There is enough suffering in this world without adding our own self limiting belief patterns to the mix.

    My wife and two year old son teach me everyday to be in the NOW and I love them for that. They sometimes drag me kicking and screaming out of my own self limiting beliefs. They are my spiritual guides that are with me every day showing me a mirror so I can see my imperfections and learn from them. I am always learning and with their help learning to be a better person. Learning to live my dreams.

    Thank you David for being an inspiration. Your words speak of more than just photography. They teach us to “express” ourselves with a”vision” in which we “see” life. They speak to the part of us that is always watching life with compassion, without fear or judgement. This is the way in which your photographs speak. The light in the eyes of the people you photograph shows us that you “see” them and they “see” you. Namaste. All we can wish for is that others “see” us for who we are. Your respect for others is an inspiration.

    Metta,
    Brett

  50. Michele

    November 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will continue to live the dream. A former coworker used those words everyday when I asked how he was…”living the dream” was always his response. Three years ago I quit my job in corporate America and I haven’t looked back. Make decisions with your heart not your wallet.

  51. November 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Hi David,
    Yes, Life is very short! Therefore, I am living it as well as is possible for me… Out Loud! and with Passion!
    Shooting daily to hone my skills and to lock the images of beauty that I encounter each day, in my heart. To never forget where I came from. To treat everyone I meet with the kindness and compassion, that we each wish to be treated with. To live and to love with gratitude for all that God has blessed me with. Learning to humble myself and let go of the things that keep me from myself, the things that keep me from the life He (God) intended for me.
    “Life is more than dying embers”-Third Day

  52. Justin

    November 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    Love my wife and family stronger than before

    I will love the blessing of each sun rise and sparkle in my son’s eyes

    I will love my wife stronger for she has had a life full of strife

    Life is ours lets take and enjoy all the moments between now and the end

    I love my life.

    Justin L. DePascale

  53. November 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will stop letting the fears I have for my FUTURE determine my happiness TODAY.

  54. November 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will refuse to be discouraged, pushing harder to refine my art and my gift, remembering that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:7).

  55. November 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will retire.

  56. November 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    …live the life I dream* of and be the person i want to be.

    (i’ve always wanted to live abroad and travel…see the world and volunteer…finally this summer i decided to ‘live the life i’ve dreamed of’ and not let fear hold me back….SO early in the new year i’ll be moving abroad to india to volunteer for a year – yup, living the life i dream of. i’ve never done anything like this…i don’t quite know what to expect but, for the most part, i’m anxious and excited).

    *which includes living abroad, working to make a difference in the lives of others, seeing the world, loving hard, being an inspiration to my family & friends.

    thank you for this post & the previous…it really struck a chord.

  57. November 17, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Try to never go to bed saying, “I wish I had ________ today.”

    Through my job I often see life and death, too much death some days, but the worst moments are always followed by and calm in which I am reminded of just how good I have it.

    Thank you, David, for reminding us all to live.

  58. November 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will live it LARGE

    I will live like I am sent to this world for a job(my dream) to be done and nobody else can do it other thn me so its my responsibility and life to complete that job even if i didn’t manage to do it….I will try my best to do it in the best way possible…let’s destiny do its job and I will do mine

  59. Parnell

    November 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I can’t say I’ve regretted my choices I have made. But I can say I regret the choices I haven’t made. That next step that could lead to something …bigger grander. The thought that pulls at me and tugs at the passions I have in my life. But to this day I have shied away from it. I have never thought of it as fear, concerning or nerve wracking but nonetheless something stops me like a subconscious thought that leads me astray. A lack of passion.. commitment, I hope not as I am constantly reminded I don’t let a sleeping dog lie. I haven’t had momentous hurdles to overcome but I have ambled along and picked at life like I’m sampling the berries without harvesting the fruit. I guess I need a kick start and this has nudged me. I have big dreams but I need the momentum to get there. I live at home so I’ll start at home. Therefore I will push aside my reservations and start…
    Thank you David Thank you all for sharing

  60. Ka3yn

    November 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will Sing Anyway. Even though brain surgery two weeks ago failed. Even though they are telling me I have so much more to go through now. Even though my life and energy seems to be consumed by medical things and the grief is overwhelming. I’m the one who decides whether I am primarily a patient or an artist. You encourage me more than you know. May I share the song I wrote and sang about this very thing? http://ka3yncole.tumblr.com/post/1441008412/rough-cut-but-enjoy-sing-anyway-lyrics-and

  61. Kris

    November 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will…
    …strive to be a truly authentic person.
    I will accept love, and give love, freely, and without fears.
    I will define myself not upon my insecurities or failures but rather upon my willingness, my hopes and accomplishments.
    I will say YES more often than NO; to life itself…to experiences, to love, to friends, to family, to risks, and to myself!
    I will listen and grow and play and learn and dream and give and pray and love, without condition, and with my whole being.
    I will do my best…to be my best.

  62. Douglas Norval

    November 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hi David,

    The link to your blog was posted on a 4x4Forum in South Africa, that’s where i found it.

    Your outpouring of emotional honesty has resonated with me, especially at this particular time in my life where at that exact spot where I have realised that ther are some changes I need to make going forward so that I can be the best i can be and that I can lead by example.

    Thank you.

  63. November 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will continue living with the quote that I once read and took as my manual.
    Don’t know who originally wrote it.

    “When you were born you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.”

  64. November 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will figure out what I would wish I had done if my life were to end tomorrow. Those are the things that truly matter to me. I will put them at the top of the Live this Life List and remove them from the Fear List. I will step outside my comfort zone and follow my dreams and passions (which have been so conveniently buried). I will stop living a life of safely low expectations.

    What I love: being with my family, playing & having fun together, photography (I’m afraid I’m not good enough to do anything beyond having a hobby), scrapbooking (my boys LOVE perusing our books – they mean so much to them), having more space in my life – both physical & mental (in the bigger picture, some activities really don’t matter).

    This is far from complete, but it’s where I begin. I’m in the process of fleshing this out in my journal, and ultimately, my life.

    Thank you, David, for your honesty and transparency. These two posts have really hit home for me.

  65. Steven

    November 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…more fully allow my life to be molded to the Lord’s will, following the passions I have rather than some prescribed path this modern world would have us believe is the path to success. I will forge the craft of my photography, making it my own, my identity, my voice, my expression of the Light of God’s creation. I, too, will kick at the dark.

  66. peter berg

    November 18, 2010 at 12:06 am

    life is short – so I will not become a member of the professional clergy.
    And life really, really is truly great.

  67. November 18, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Life is short, therefore I will live recklessly.

    I’m at a point in my photography career where my non-photography career is now interfering. I had spent two weeks debating whether I should quit my day job to be able to bid on the photography jobs that I’ve always dreamt of doing. After reading your post yesterday, I decided to go for it…

  68. November 18, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Hi David

    Thank you for teh last two posts – especially for the call to action. I blogged my answer, but in essence it reads ‘Life is short and therefore I will not be afraid to do what I want to do – I will stop putting off traveling, stop putting off making photography my career and stop putting off making extraordinary plans and doing my utmost to make them comes true.’

  69. Gino Eelen

    November 18, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    …Start taking myself seriously as a photographer, always trying to be totally authentic in expressing myself through art, not holding back for any reason whatsoever. Learn to always say “this is who I am an this is what I stand for, like it or not”

    …Take nothing for granted, treat every day as a gift and live every experience given to me to the fullest.

    @ Juhani Väihkönen: That is a fantastic quote and a most wonderful goal :-)

  70. November 18, 2010 at 2:18 am

    hi david!

    i really really really appreciate that you point these things out. your sharing of insights, stories and experiences has really had an impact on me. thanks. :D
    this recent post really hit home. my wife wrote on a my birthday card (when we were still dating) simply “one life…etcetera” :D it cracked me up because like she does, my wife removes all clutter from my life and presents me with the simple, unadulterated way it is. and we only have one life here…why waste it being upset with our bosses and going on how miserable we are at work? i have a lot of changes in my life, the biggest one being me becoming a dad in march! i’m working on becoming a full-time vocational photographer at the same time and i love it! my timing is impeccable, but what the heck. if i don’t do this now, i might never get around to it later. and i don’t want to regret not doing what i want to.

    so, i raise my cup of coffee in salutation. thank you.

    .v

  71. November 18, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… therefore I will do what I can not to hurt anyone, AND I will visit every country in Africa.

  72. November 18, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…
    love my children more and control them less
    show my wife the love she deserves
    be more present in my life
    learn to see the positive in everyone I meet
    inspire as many people as I can
    not take myself too seriously
    remember to enjoy my life
    spend more time with my family and less in Photoshop

  73. November 18, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… live each day to the full, worry less about the future, try to do my best and make a difference to others. Thank you David.

  74. November 18, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will continue to emphasize how good life is!!! Just like those t-shirts say – embrace simplicity, humility and a sense of humor and when those inevitable bumps rear their heads, face them with a smile. I’ll encourage others to do the same – especially the smile. There is nothing better in this world than putting a smile on someone’s face. Thanks for the post, David and thanks for reminding us of the truly important things!

  75. November 18, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    Cease to be paralyzed by fear, restrained by circumstances beyond my control and commit to living each day in the moment, to its fullest.

    The last few years have been fairly traumatic for me. My better half was diagnosed with breast cancer (she is now a 4 year survivor), I lost my grandfather (my real father figure) to liver/lung cancer, a house fire destroyed a third of our home, I had two significant health scares that put me in the emergency room, and the day job I’ve held for nearly 15 years has become a toxic, poisonous environment.

    These things have continually reinforced that mantra, “Life is too short.” It has become a steady drumbeat in my heart that is finally reaching my head.

    I have just returned from Italy where I lived with my camera in my hand, capturing everything I could envision (thanks to you, David, that vision is much more flexible, agile and open to opportunities) and taking advantage of life as it presented itself. The trip was amazing, and our hosts, and their culture, yet again reinforced the belief that it is far better to live life with joy, with passion, with love…

    I have already begun, in my head, planning for an exit from my current job, so that I can focus on things that matter to me in a more passionate and real manner. Finances are always a black cloud, especially with two kids in college, but it’s within reach.

    It is time to pursue.

    It is time to seek.

    Now is the time.

    Thank you, David. For all you give, I can only hope you are given such back tenfold and more.

  76. November 18, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Life is short but in my 80th year and still in good health I seem to have more memories than plans. However I am determined to make the best of the time I have left. Maybe, no I will, I will take that long trip to Europe with my wife to revisit the places we both love and also see what we missed. Hey! and while I’m in this mood why not buy the Pentax K5 and some of those great Pentax prime lenses I always wanted but couldn’t quite justify:) Above all I must quit worrying about the past or even be so concerned for the future and just concentrate on the NOW. And strive to express as much Love and gratitude for all for all the good I already have.
    Thanks for suggesting we do this David.
    Dick K.

  77. andrew

    November 18, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Hey Guys

    I haven’t shared this with too many people but this is a bit of a help to me in my life. I spend a few days in the woods with just a few matches, a bible, and a sleeping bag. I prayed lots, sang a bunch, and ran around in the woods naked with a stick. Here’s what came to me for a mission statement…

    Live Everyday Like it’s a Gift.
    Because it is
    Love everyone like they are something special
    Because they are
    Trust in God for everything.
    Because only he can provide

    Live the Adventure
    Run the Race
    Own the Faith

    Live richly
    own nothing but your actions
    and take only memories

    I commit to being a Dad and a Husband and to show that love by spending time with the ones I love everyday.

    Andrew.

  78. November 18, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will … count my blessings

  79. November 18, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Life is too short and therefore I will … seize the day, try even harder not to hurt anyone, open my mind to alternatives and opportunities, and continue to see changes in my life as pen windows.
    http://open-window.typepad.com/blog/2010/01/an-open-window.html

  80. November 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…not mistake internet friendships, blog comments etc. for real relationships, but will instead spend my time with the people I actually know and love. I’m just here for the photography. Don’t really care about your deep insights, life crisis, etc. Just cause I read your blog….it doesn’t really mean we are friends. Sorry. But I actually have a life.

  81. November 18, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will push to make this passion I have for photography into something that will pay my bills.

  82. Cindi

    November 18, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Life is short and therefore I will…
    be certain that every time my husband walks out the door he carries nothing but love with him.

  83. Laurie

    November 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… stop worrying about tomorrow and start living for today,

  84. November 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Believe.
    See you.
    Feel you.
    Hear you.
    Be me.
    Feel me.
    Hear me.
    Be willing.
    Be grateful.
    Trust.

  85. November 18, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I am heartened to see that the “I will” out number the “try” statements. To quote my little fictional Jedi Master friend, “Do or do not. There is no try.” To try is to open ourselves up ourselves to the possibility of failure being the end point. We will all fail, but that doesn’t mean that we have to let failure be the endpoint of our journey or our dreams.

    What we are all doing is attempting to create a virtuous cycle. One that will benefit ourselves and others. At the heart of it we can choose to create cycles that move us up or endure cycles that drag us down. Someone who improves whenever they fail will always achieve more than someone who responds to failure by giving up. The proper response to failure is not ‘pull up our socks’, ‘buckle down’, to try harder, what works is to understand the nature of the cycle and to change it from the start. This isn’t something in your DNA, it’s something you can learn or unlearn. So look in the mirror and say to yourself “I will embrace my failures, I will understand why the failures happened, I will learn, adapt and continue to pursue my dream”.

  86. November 18, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    …keep looking for that fulfilling, creative career that I want so badly from life. I will keep writing short stories and novels, and I will keep submitting them to agents and publishers. I will keep practicing guitar and trying to learn whatever I can about music theory. I will keep singing. I will keep playing harmonica. I will keep building copper sculpture even though I have no idea how that fits in with the rest of my life. I will keep working on learning how to weld so that I can make bigger, better sculptures even though I’m terrified of what might happen to my life if I actually become capable of doing what I want to do with it. I will keep applying for jobs. I will keep following the fear, talking with friends and family about what I want most in life, keep working toward being the best me I can possibly be.

  87. Celeste

    November 18, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Saw this quote the other day: “”I’m more honest, more true, more vulnerable because I used to think that I was supposed to be fearless. Now I know that its okay to be afraid as long as you show up.”

    Life is short, therefore I will stop being a spectator in my own life, and learn to embrace the fear.

  88. November 18, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will, as a healthcare executive, keep serving my patients, as an aviator, keep flying, and as a photographer, keep shooting.

  89. November 18, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    Love and dislike, impress and disappoint, progress and backslide, teach and learn, inherit and bestow, enlighten and mislead, experiment and mimic, be considerate and self-absorbed, travel and set roots, attempt and fail.

    I will live day-to-day, perfect and flawed.

  90. November 18, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will live the circumstances that I have been given. I will not rest my happiness on dreams or projects to be accomplished, but rather, will rejoice in what has been given to me now, no matter how mundane, challenging, or even painful my circumstances might be. Life is short, and therefore I will not put off living reality intensely until a certain set of criteria are met (“perfect” health, the “perfect” job, the “perfect” vacation, the “perfect” home, etc).

  91. Miems van Wyk

    November 18, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will, go visit my 95 year old grandma at least once a week, give my folks a hug an kiss everyday, give my son a bear hug and heaps and mounds of encouragement and look for that gardening business that I may grow into my vision.

  92. November 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Life is indeed short, so spending quality time with family and friends are at the top of the list…then doing all the things that I can still enjoy, without worrying about the next day, or next week….

  93. November 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Life is short and therefore I will…. stop making excuses. Take care of my health. Care passionately for my family. Turn all no’s in to a positive. Continue to share the best I can.

  94. November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Life is short and therefor I will try to experience things that I never have in the hope it changes me for the better and that my kids will learn to do it from my example.

    I think this quote from Benjamin Button sums my philosophy up best:

    “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

  95. November 18, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Life is (indeed) short, and therefore I am living relationally… intentionally… and creatively.

  96. David Finch

    November 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Life is short and therefore I will…
    Not regret leaving my job in search of more days that end with a smile.
    I decided to follow my passion for photography and just go for it. My wife and I quit our jobs and climbed out of our ruts, moved to a different state, and are following our passions. We wake with the sunrise hitting us squarely in the face, sleep when we are tired, and believe me, when your only goal for the day is to live it so that you go to bed exhausted, you spend a lot more time doing the lings you love and less of the “filler”.
    It was on our way out of town that a friend said his goodbyes and recommended VisonMongers. I bought it the next day (used of course to keep the carbon footprint lower) and have been reading it every morning over breakfast.
    I know I could crash and burn at this but who really cares? I’ll wake up tomorrow and that’s really all I need. If I don’t, will I be around to worry about it…? I am blessed in that I have good friends, great family, and a wonderful wife to support me in finding my own voice and a means to share it with the world. I thank you for doing the same.

  97. Bao

    November 18, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…not fear to fail and put off the things I love doing most, putting my family first, make beautiful photographs, and creating awesome ice cream!

  98. marlof

    November 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…enjoy being here while getting there.

  99. November 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Life is short and therefore I will:
    calm down, relax and focus on connecting and participating with selected like minded friends (while respecting others’ choices) aspiring to live (can be read as ‘laugh’) in the moment thereby helping to create a mutually beneficial social experience in which our gentle aesthetic is realized as the inclusive and expansive penultimate of expression and meaning, together.
    In other words: “Life is amazing; and living is magical – especially when shared!”
    Whew! Thanks David for once again stirring the thoughtful reflections of we, your friends!
    cheers and blessings to each/all of us!

  100. November 18, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will accept that I am worthy of love and joy in my life. I will accept that failure is necessary for success. I will instigate and follow through on all the personal projects in my head, even if nobody else ever sees them.

  101. Roy

    November 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…continue on my path that began 80 years ago. Life is short, and therefore I will…take more time to be thankful for having survived the many speed bumps in my life. Life is short, and therefore I will…take the steps that fear has deterred me from, realizing that the worst that can happen is a no, or someone may laugh at my foolishness. I need to remember that I have been laughed at by experts and pretty much outlived them all. Life is short, and therefore I will…learn life lessons from my family, including my great-grandsons. Life is short, and therefore I will…grieve the passing of those I love and hold them in a special memory dedicated just to them. Life is short, and therefore I will…thank you, David, for reminding me of what we all need to consider over, over, and over again; that life ain’t no-how permanent, don’t take it too serious.

  102. Laura C

    November 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Life is short and therefore I will listen more, laugh often, love openly, touch and be touched without apprehension, appreciate the moment, be in awe of the unique and walk with my eyes and heart wide open to all the love and beauty the world offers.

  103. November 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

    […] – “Life Is Short” und – “Life Is (too) Short – An Invitation” […]

  104. November 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

    … help to better everyone I know or come in contact with… possibly by telling my 2 jokes over and over and over again :D

  105. November 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Life is short and therefore I will follow my dreams, hopes and passion. But most of all I will love my family and share more of my life with them while there is yet a little time.
    Sometimes there are life-changing moments that give us a wake-up call. For me it was the 4th Sept earthquake here. I thank God we all came through it with our lives.

  106. November 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…continue to live the dream given to me. Pray hard, Play hard.

  107. November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Life is short so I will:

    See every day as an opportunity to make a positive difference
    Be happy and loving
    Do things that challenge me and I can learn from

  108. ADA

    November 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will try to follow what I read the other day: “The beauty of life is to experience yourself”

    I think I’ve been in “your livingroom” for a year now- following your blog…and thanks so much for your books and for sharing your honest thoughts!

  109. November 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    …I will live and love on my terms and with a purpose.

    It’s funny about the timing of your post. Yesterday (11/17), I lost my sister-in-law to a five-year bout with cancer. She was 35. I was the one who had to wake her husband from sleep to tell him his wife had passed. Can you imagine the anguish he must be feeling? I saw the pain in his eyes, and I heard it in his lack of words. A couple hours later, he said to me that he took for granted the fact that she had always fought through it. He didn’t get the chance to spend the time with her that he wanted to while she was in the hospital.

    I don’t want to be in that situation. When I leave this world, I don’t want to wish I had spent more time with my wife (even though there’s never enough time). I don’t want to live with regrets over what I didn’t do. Sure, I’ll never fly a F-18 at Mach 1, but it’s only because I physically would never qualify to do it. Short of that, I’m going to bring my wife along as we both live our dreams. And much of the time, just being with her is a dream come true in itself.

    So pull that significant other closer and live like it’s your last week together. Don’t ever get yourself into a position where you wished you had more time. Do it now. And leave the world a better place than it was when you were born.

  110. Rudy Roth

    November 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…
    celebrate life in its simple daily things , love my wife and kids , try to contribute to the lifes of people around me and enjoy the richness of people, nature in good times and bad times

  111. November 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    …get off the damn computer and go hug my kids! Going now….bye.

  112. November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Life is short… and so far I’ve been incredibly lucky.
    I only started to appreciate this fact after hearing the artist Patrick Joyce (The Incurable Optimist) on the radio one evening when driving home feeling decidedly sorry for myself. His strength, amazing positive outlook and refusal to just “give up” when diagnosed with motor neurone disease really struck a chord with me and has stayed in my mind ever since.
    Patrick is an inspiration, as is this powerful message from David, thank you.

    I just want to share that inspiration with you all too, so please do check out Patricks web site: http://patricktheoptimist.org have a listen to him and see how he’s battling on and creating beautiful art.

  113. SuLi

    November 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    …live like there’s no tomorrow, die without regrets and hopefully have made a little difference with the short life.

  114. November 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    … truly be in the moment when I spend time with friends and love ones, instead of thinking about what I have to do next.

    …continue to pursue my dream of publishing a cookbook and hosting a television show

    …not be afraid to ask … for anything … for help … hugs … opportunities … favors … smiles … and in return I will also not be afraid to give whatever is asked of me.

    …pursue more experiences and less “stuff”

    …share your post so that it might ignite a spark in others

  115. Conrad

    November 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Live, love, laugh – make wonderful photographs.Travel, hang out with good friends, never say “when I get around to it” or “I would’ve, but”
    Bake pies and cookies and cake, eat good food, drink fine wine, sing, dance. Unwrap the gift which is given to us each sunrise, and enjoy.

  116. November 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    David, several years ago I took part in a psychologically-self-help-spiritually minded workshop in which, recognizing that life is short, we were encouraged to make “an improbable promise.” That is, to promise what we were unsure we individually could carry out for the betterment of humanity and the world. I still remember some of the participants’ promises: to see peace in the world through right relationship; to reveal the presence of grace; to end world hunger; to provide homes for those without.

    Bold promises, but specific promises! This project you’ve begun has a similar feel for me.

  117. November 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    …therefore I will celebrate the lives of friends and loved ones who have died, instead of mourning their passing…

  118. November 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I will fight Resistance, I’m tired of losing the battles. Time to win the war!!

  119. Scott Page

    November 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Find the joy in every moment.

    Let the peace of each brand new moment lead me.

    To look at the world as my children do; letting go of all my preconceptions; letting it all be.

    To see the dragons in the mountains, the unicorns in the forests, the trolls in the hills, and Pegasus in the sky.

  120. Cyndi

    November 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…
    take more chances and try the not-so-safe choices; look for the positive energy each day; live more deliberately and stop being grateful for crumbs, like some Dickensian character!; make a commitment to follow my bliss (advice I gave my son which I don’t practice!); show my family and friends how much I love and cherish them every day.

  121. November 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    ife is short, and therefore I will…do something to envoke a possitive and happy emotion in a stranger each date.

  122. Brian Schmitt

    November 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    David-

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your friends, like you I had tears in my eyes as I read your post.

    I teach an Adult Enrichment photo class, last year I was blessed to have a girl in my class that opened my eyes in away that no one has ever done before. But sadly being the teacher I could not say anything with out jepordizing my position. Long story short she really liked me but had started dating someone else, but wished I had said something because she really liked me (like you I waited) . My heart sank.

    We had kept in somewhat contact over the past couple of months. She was recently diagnosed with MS, and told me when I was doing my day job as a high school art teacher. I did something I have never done in front of my students – I cried in front of them. I went on to tell her how I had felt even after all these months and sadly have never heard back from her. I burned a bridge.

    The hardest thing is knowing that someone I care about deeply, is sick and will never know how she is doing and progressing. Everyday I wish I had kept my mouth shut, knowing that I would at least have had some contact with her.

    Every night I say a prayer for her, hoping that in some way she hears them and know that I still care and think of her even if she does not feel the same for me.

    Brian

  123. November 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Life is short, act with passion and deliver Life is short, act with passion and deliver with purpose. This is my motto.
    Three years ago I picked up a camera because of the encouragement of a buddy. He saw an image I had made with a point and shoot. It was not some grand spectacular image, but he liked the comp., commented on it and encouraged me to make more images. To date I’ve gone through two point and shoots and I’m working on my second DSLR. I found a creative side that I did not know existed and I also found that it helped me deal with stress.
    I had tried many different ways of dealing with stress, but none seemed to work like my camera. I started posting images via my buddies blog using this pseudonym and getting positive feed back.
    Creating images helps me manage stress. I’m a Lt. in charge of a major crimes section in a law enforcement organization. After reading reports of hideous crimes and supervising crime scenes, I can pick up my camera and create images that help me forget it all for just a little while. I’ve started a small business so I can keep things straight if I sell a print or two or do a family session. God has lead me to a personal project that I will be launching soon using my camera to tell stories. I’ve been praying for guidance recently, and this project has come to light. I read the previous post and it really struck me. So much so that I sent it to my entire section, both squads, and asked them to read it. We all sometimes really get wrapped up with things in life and forget to enjoy it. I printed the previous post and it rests on my desk where I can see it. At the end of the day, I create a to do list for the next day and I’ve placed the article on top since reading it. When I arrive in the morning, I fire up the computer, feed my fish Recon, and I see it before I review the days to do list. When things begin building during the day, it’s there as a reminder to not sweat the small stuff. God has used you in my life by sharing your feelings. It helped bring the project I had been working on in my head into focus and it serves as a reminder to me during the day. Thanks for sharing.-Hank

  124. Darryl Bueckert

    November 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Life is short and I will live like there is no tomorrow.
    I am completely struck by the long thread of comments and how much we all have in common, but never would have known it without the impetus of David’s original post to spur us on to tell our own story.
    After loosing our infant son almost 4 years ago, life took on a whole different level of urgency and intentionality to it. It was like being jolted awake. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow, but rarely take the time to enjoy today.
    We made the decision shortly after that we would change the way we did life. After a few years of planning and preparation we made the “leap” last week away from the so-called stability of a regular pay check and into the unknown. Now I get to schedule my work day around walking my daughter to school and playing hotwheels with my son, oh and spending lots of hours working when they are not around. Not being chained to a desk has already allowed me to interact with my family and friends in a much more profound way.
    David, I must thank you for taking the leap to write. This blog post, your books, the whole thing. As you have explored finding your voice and expressing it to us all, it has encouraged me, and should encourage others, that their voice and story are worth telling too.

    Darryl

  125. Babette Puzey

    November 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    …not be afraid to chase my dreams. I will continue to embrace life and all that it has to offer. I will love with all my heart and soul, dance with reckless abandon, take deep breaths and long walks, indulge my senses, laugh without inhibition, and sing like no one is listening. I will continue to write, shoot pretty pictures, express myself passionately, and not be ashamed of who I am. I will be proud of my capabilities and continue to educate myself. I will enjoy the wine, the beer, the food, the outdoors, and music from many genres. I will see Ireland somehow, some way! I will surround myself with positive energy and be a source of positive energy for others. I will be true to myself and people will only know the real me. I will live by the “pay it forward” philosophy and show kindness to friends and strangers. I will not be broken.

  126. November 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Life if short, and therefore I will walk the path God has put before me, continue to make images no matter the cost, and continue to follow the dream and passion he has put in my heart. I will travel, see all the things I always said “someday” about, and say yes to all the unknown paths I long to take.

    I will quit my “safe” job of 6 years, this spring and finally trust in the photography to be my income. I will stop making excuses and hedging my bet. Its not a choice for me, I’ve been shown the way, to not go would be something I would never forgive myself for.

  127. November 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I will live my faith out loud. I find it comforting to go to church, praise with people of like mind and heart, and then go out and kind of set that aside. Over the past few months, I have been working harder and harder to show my Saviors love to those around me, and not be embarrassed by it. My life is easy compared to mothers I’ve met who were holding their children as they suffered from Malaria, and they never lost hope. Life is not about comfort, its about relationships, and I cant grow those, if I stay silent and timid.

  128. November 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will eat lots of bacon cheese fries.

  129. November 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I will live daily in pursuit of my God given dream. Live a life of no regret. I want to leave a legacy same as the lyrics in the song Impossible Dream.

  130. November 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…cherish and love those close to me, use my photography to help the invisible in our society become visible.

    The sameness of these posts are telling; there is never enough time, it’s always too soon, you can’t go back. The emptiness of loss can immobilize your spirit, but this pain can be a powerful motivation to make a difference to someone who needs your love.

  131. Lee

    November 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will live my life in full abandonment that others will be glad in God.

  132. Markus

    November 19, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Life is short, therefore I will start to take myself seriously and follow my heart.

    Thank you David for your “vision monger” Greetings from Germany

  133. DT

    November 19, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Life is short – I will try to appreciate more of what I have, what I have had, and what life presents me with in the future.

  134. Tony

    November 19, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… always have time to stop and listen to my daughter.

  135. November 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Thank you, David. How inspiring and timely for me. Life is short and therefore I will…
    Proceed with my decision to step down from management in my company, foregoing a secure career opportunity for the promise of a dream. I have recently made the move and put things in place to remove myself from the hustle of busy retail management. I’m putting more time and passion into what I love. Your post was very pertinent to the changes I am setting up right now. Thank you again.

  136. Jeremy

    November 19, 2010 at 6:18 am

    LIfe is short, so let’s just live. Don’t be reckless, but take risks. I try to find something, everyday, to be amazed by. I have someone to love, I love them unconditionally and tell them that they’re loved. Work doesn’t define who I am, but I love that too. I go to bed each night not quite believing my luck – I wake up each morning hoping that luck will hold out for another day…so far, so good.

  137. Terry McMillan

    November 19, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…actively practice to the best of my ability the words of Ephesians 4:1 – “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” A simple verse that can have a profound impact. As God continually reveals to me His plan for my life, I hope that I can be the faithful servant that He calls me to be. I want my time and talents (including my photography) to be tools at His disposal. My life is not my own.

  138. November 19, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Life is short and therefore I will not ANYONE live it for me. I will make my own decisions, pursue my dreams and live with the consequences. I will go for my dreams and reach for the stars. If I fail, I’ll die trying. At least I tried! :c)

  139. November 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Life is short and therefore I will take time off from work to travel & photograph starting with a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica. ;)

  140. November 19, 2010 at 11:23 am

    “If this were the last 10 years of your life, what would you be doing? Where would you be living? What would you be doing for fun, work, friendship, and love? If the answers are different from where you currently are, maybe you should be someplace else.”

    Life is short, and therefore I will…make the answers match the questions.

  141. Adrian

    November 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will try to love and care the people around me a little more.

  142. Lisa O

    November 19, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…
    Always try to be a nice person
    Try not waste time
    Go for it
    Enjoy Life

  143. Jamie

    November 20, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will chase my dreams and perhaps even join the ranks of Magnum Photographers one day(:

  144. November 20, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will not ever take anything for granted.

    Life is short, and therefore I will remember that home is where the heart is.

  145. November 20, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Life is short and therefore I will try to use my camera not just for me, but for others so that at my funeral I will have done more than just make pretty pictures.

  146. Joe

    November 20, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will hire people to run my business so that I can focus on being creative. I spend all day waiting to do something that I feel is worthwhile and before I know it, it’s time to go to sleep and start all over again with the grind.

  147. Kellie

    November 20, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Life is short…I will try to love harder, listen more intently, be in the moment, and try not to judge.

  148. Marta

    November 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    oh,David, I think you are making people think about the most important things in life, you encourage them to take ” a risk” of being themselves, to make their dreams come true. I am convinced your experience of life- before making from photography your life-way-is precious. But to share it with people all over the world, to devote your time to others is really something! your text is sooooo moving and the words: “Whatever your dream is, find a way to make it happen” will hopefully help many people to make their lives happy and full of freedom :-) Thank you for this :-) and God bless you for your heart for others :-)

  149. Marta

    November 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will follow my dreams, i will not complain that I can’t manage to do this or that and instead i will focus on realizing my dreams / all dreams come true when we only want them to- i have proofs ;P /, i will treat each day of my life as a precious gift, i will laugh often, i will enjoy having friends, i will share my talents with others, i will walk on the sunny side of the street, i will see the stars but at the same time i will see the people around me. I will try to live my life consciously and wisely, not losing time for stupid things, i will LIVE not just live :-)

  150. November 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Life is short and we can never know what tomorrow will bring.
    Only God knows that.

    Matthew 6:34
    Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take
    thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    You and your friends will be in my prayers today David.

  151. November 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for this David.

    Reading your post and the subsequent comments is certainly what I needed right now.

    Life is short, and therefore I will… do my best to remember just how short it is every day.

    As a cancer survivor myself, I know how determined you can be after a life changing event to live every day to the fullest. I also know how time can change that and allow you to lapse into the status quo and get caught up in the drama of every day life.

    It’s easy to read this post and get inspired… but it’s so hard to force yourself to think about it everyday. To be inspired everyday. Life has a habit of getting in the way.

    Posts like yours help keep things in perspective. Thanks again.
    Chris

  152. November 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will continue to be driven by the passions in my life. I’m a college student, and have recently begun my own photography business, and it has been thrilling to share my love of photography with people in my community and circle of friends. I never want to lose the passion I feel now.

    I am often, however, filled with so much love and passion that it can overwhelm me, and I have so many big ideas and dreams of traveling and changing the world that I fear because I cannot achieve these goals now I will never receive the opportunity. Reading your blog and the comments of others reminds me to simply appreciate the now, and the lives I have already changed, through the photoshoots I’ve done of young children, who will never have those baby teeth or chubby fingers again, or of high school seniors, ready to take on independence.

    Photographers are people of perspective, focus, and, of course, vision. Life is short, and therefore I will keep the photographer qualities in mind as I continue my journey, with appreciation and thankfulness of every step.

  153. Hali

    November 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will cherish those I love and let them know how precious they are to me, I will try to do the best I can to make this world a better place by my works and my deeds. I will live my life without regrets because every day is a gift to be grateful for. I will try not to be judgmental or petty when things are not what I wish for and not take offense when others can not be so.

  154. November 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will… live simply, live truly, live faithfully. I will live by my truth… sure, I have experienced heartaches, tragedy, but I’ve also experienced some of the most intense healing powers of forgiveness and love too. Those definitely outweigh anything less.

    loved reading all the responses. my heart has been touched by your post, and by all the varied responses made by such wonderful, creative, lively, honest folks. This is refreshing. thank you…

  155. November 21, 2010 at 8:22 am

    over 2 year ago by just plain dumb luck I met a young lady on flickr from Tbilisi Georgia. I am an older man who saw photos of Kazbegi and said to myself “I am going there” and i went ther not only once but twice and I discovered the most wonderful people on this earth. two years from now when i retire, I am moving there for good.

    if uyou don’t live life, you die in what you think is living.

  156. November 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Life is short, yes.
    So I’ll do my best to be a good man, a good father and loving husband.
    I’ll also do my best to enjoy everything this life can give me, including the pleasure of shooting a few pictures when I can.
    All we can do is decide what we can do with the time we have on this little planet.
    Carpe diem

  157. Marjan Leeuwesteijn

    November 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will not postpone the things I really want to do.

    Life is short, and therefore I will remember my dear brother every day, because he didn’t had the chance to grow old.

  158. Greg

    November 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    …stop “planning” to take action, and TAKE the action to do and to serve and to share with others with the ideas I have burning deeply.

    I will start by writing my goals and visions clearly and specifically. I will decorate my home with these words as reminders and inspiration to myself and my wife as we support each other and take one step at a time, without delay or fear blocking the way.

    I will re-connect and remain connected with the family and the friends that are – simply – a direct line away – no matter how far they are or how long it has been.

  159. Paul G

    November 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    … strive to be the dad my kids desire and need.

  160. Paul G

    November 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    … strive to be the dad desire and need.

  161. Felicia

    November 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve spent 4 days thinking about how to respond to this. There are so many poignant, touching, thoughtful and even challenging posts here. I was especially challenged by James Dawson’s reminder of Yoda’s admonition to “do or do not – there is no try.” With that in mind, and because life is so very short, I will:
    – post more often to my blog
    – take more photos of everyday things
    – pray more
    – worry less.

  162. Melissa Reed

    November 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    -I will try to live with less regret. The things that happened in the past – they can’t be changed. So I have to keep moving forward, and learn from my mistakes.
    -Make peace with myself.
    -I will try to live with less anxiety. As I prepare to have a 2 level spinal fusion on 11/24/2010, in the same hospital I watched my brother die in last year, I am trying to keep myself together and realize that only so much can be done before I go in. (My blind brother was struck by a car – he didn’t stand a chance-coma for 12 days and organ donor – the hospital was great to us though)
    -Accept the things you can’t change – like the lengthy recovery this surgery is going to take. Instead, I will focus on all of the things I’ll get done while I’m not very mobile, that I keep putting off currently.
    -I’m going to take more pictures (after I recover) and try to doubt myself less. I’ll be in a back brace for 3 months, so I should be able to know every groove and button on both my camera bodies with my eyes closed by the end of it! I will dedicate more of my time to my craft in a way that I choose that’s for ME.
    -I will stop making excuses for trying to chase my dream. I will not allow people to stand in my way anymore; this is my life and I have a say in how I spend my time and my career choices. This will require a daily “confidence” pep talk in the bathroom mirror every morning, but so be it!

  163. IanVincent

    November 22, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hi All…a lurker here…hope to share and post more and more. This is a great set of people in this post.

    Thanks very much David for being able to attract such a diverse and open minded pool of talent and soul.

    Ok…so here goes my “Life it Too Short” spiel…

    Life is Too short, so I will live my life for those whose lives matter to me. We all have dreams of what we want to do…where we want to be. We can’t stop dreaming about those, because those things fuel the fire the burns inside us.

    But when resources are scarce, when some challenges cripple us, we are then forced to find out what matters most…and in my short 32 year journey…i know these things that matter are the people with whome we share some form of love.

    They become our fountain of youth…our fountain of inspiration…the very fuel that will light the fire of a million other dreams.

    Life is short, so I will strive to smile everymorning when I wake up…to remind me I should go out and get on Living.

    Life is short, and sometimes we’re too busy to notice it. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

    To those who survived cancer, accidents, near death experiences…and to those who stayed with loved ones during their last hours here on this earth…thank you all for inspiring us to LIVE, and not just to be alive.

    This is great… :)

  164. November 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I am enjoying my blessings in awareness and gratitude. Life is short, and therefore I will end my corporate job at the end of the year and spend the next one only doing photographynrelated stuff… Somewhat scared but profoundly joyful and hopefull.

    Ps. BTW, it was already decided before this post. And yet it’s very comforting to find meaning in my choice by reading this post and comments.

  165. November 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Life is short and therefore I will….stop putting things off until I am older, wiser, more confident, have more time, have lost weight, have more money…..

    I will be brave and do it NOW.

  166. November 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will stop postponing diving head first into the things I love, for fear of failing. I’m sure it’ll be a great journey!

  167. November 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Why do I think somehow everything is fine and like this silly saying I keep hearing, “It’s all good”. Dammit it’s not all good. Am I fooling myself, do I want to be happy so much that I neglect true life and what it means to be human? Am I so scared of being hurt, of failing, at being ridiculed that I don’t even try? Why do I not tell my kids everyday that I love them, they know, right? Why do tears comes to my eyes when thinking about my kids. I’m divorced now at 10 years, my kids have grown up without me being there on a daily basis. I thought it was for the best 10 years ago, why do I wonder about that?
    Life is too short, and that’s the part that sucks. I also know the answers to my questions, and until now I have done nothing about them, that sucks even worse.

  168. Russell

    November 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will do the things I have been dreaming about doing all my life! I’m fed up with myself procrastinating over the dreams. Get up and move you sluggard, life is (very) short now, how did I get this old so quick?? How I marveled at Jessica Watson making her dream happen, I followed her all over the world, emailing encouragement and even praying God’s protection over her, still sitting in my dingy office saying I will follow my dreams, and I still sit in my dingy office, safe, predictable, reliant. Get up and move! What will it take to make me actually do the things I have wanted to do? I get angry with myself for allowing my life to rush away like this and never following MY dreams. I must do it and start now. LIFE IS SHORT, if you are reading this then believe me it really is! Don’t be like me, do it now or you will be sitting in your dingy office wishing you had followed your dream. It’s not too late, I can still salvage some of my dreams, but maybe not all, only if I start it now, pray for me!

  169. November 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Good post the last couple of days. It is great to here that those of us who struggle (and we all do in some way) do not struggle alone. I have been shooting and making a living with photography for 20+ years. This year I made a major commitment to remake myself. This meant doing all the things I had know that I needed to do for 20+ years but just kept thinking I didn’t have the time, self promotion, testing etc. So far I haven’t seen any fruits from this. Now I am starting to look at my personal work and wonder if I should be showing that more. Whatever decision I make I will use the strength and encouragement from the post and comments here to propel me onward. All of the struggles of following our art along with the usual struggles of a marriage and family can sometimes get us down. Follow your dream the best way you can, this goes for David and everyone else out there. Mike, I truly admire your courage and your commitment to your family. One last thing I will leave you with. If you haven’t read “The War of Art” do so. I would also recommend Eckhart Tolle as well.

    Peace
    Kyle

  170. Kathy

    November 23, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I am reminded of a saying in Thailand.

    Life is so short we must move slowly.

    Life is short therefore I will move slowly.

    Thank you.

  171. Gina Rose

    November 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Life is short therefore I will continue to be mindfully aware of all my actions, thoughts and words! I will renew my yoga practice that has been replaced with my triathlon training – there is place and time for both! Smile more!

  172. Pam

    November 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Life is short… therefore I will continue to always remember that and cherish every moment. I now focus on what matters. Things are in the proper perspective..there are so many things to say and do once you realize this, but if you let go of everything else.. what is left – LOVE – love what you do, who you are, where you are and those around you.

    … I had one of those moments just over a year ago that really moved me… I don’t want to steal your thunder by posting a link to my blog – which is more random thoughts and not even photography related, but this moment is with me every day and so relevant to this topic.. it really changed my life and keeps things in perspective…

    http://pam-lifeinthemiddleeast.blogspot.com/2010/11/dont-sweat-small-stuff.html

    Thank you.

  173. November 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Life is short, therefore I will love and live and laugh as if I’m going to die tomorrow.

  174. Teri Lou

    November 25, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Life is too short, therefore I will not allow myself to be my own dream stealer. And I will continue to sometimes bluntly ask strangers how big does the pile of money really have to be before they start living their dreams?

  175. November 25, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… try to be more positive and move forward

  176. November 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will try to fight of my demons.

    The fear of being rejected, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of not making it, the fear of doing it wrong, the fear of not being able to support a family, the fear to throw away years, fear of losing it all…

    And still my photographic heart keeps beating, raging inside of me. Telling me to push through, to hold on to whatever small amount of determination there is left in me.

    At a young age I had this moment of clarity. When I decided I wanted to be a photographer, to tell people my stories. I dropped out of college, got a loan and started at a photography academy. I was 20. I am now 24 and I have never been so scared in my life. The time has come to start paying back that borrowed money, so that means work. But it is also time to step up my photography game and graduate. These things don’t seem to match. These two uncertainties shut me down completely. The future looks grim and at this moment I just don’t know what to do.
    Job, school, family, photography, debts, etc etc keep on spinning in my mind and I need to stop it.

    Your post touched my heart and made me realise to stop standing at the sideline and try and do something about it. My dreams are out there and I want, need, crave to make them come true.

    Thank you David, for reaching out and touching so many people. You even reached as far as the Netherlands, and there, somewhere am I, behind my screen, soaking it all in and feeling understood. Thank you.

  177. Diane

    November 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…

    Take care of my health first so I can:

    Chose to be happy. Live every day like it’s a gift. Love with all my heart! Let the people in my life KNOW how much I love them.

    Enjoy and cherish this time I have with my adult children and my grandson so close to me. Stop complaining and obsessing over how much space they take up in my life, my house. This is a good thing…a grand thing! Photograph them because “What’s in the way, is the way.”

    Take those trips! Short ones, long ones, and in between.

    Shoot, edit, write, learn, and grow as a person and photographer. Daily.

    Find a way to embrace the chaos at this time in my life.

    “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”

    Thank you David for all you do!!

  178. November 26, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Life is indeed short David and as experience has it, it takes at least one life changing moment (normally this would be a deathly experience) before one truly alters. For me, I now live in a mode of “.. never having to say ‘I should have..'”.

    Enjoy your journey David, live it never having to say “I should have …”

  179. Ros

    November 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Life is short; Therefore, I’ll continue to live as I am…Enjoying the company of those I love, continuing towards finalizing that BA in education, photographing any chance I get, relishing whatever experience comes my way and throwing myself into it wholeheartedly. I’ll continue to be myself no matter what, I will still pay attention to the lives of the strangers around me, I will continue to live life to the fullest.

    I will continue to be me, for that’s the only person noone else will ever be able to be.

  180. November 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I come to post my colors here among you who call this site one of their homes. I am a survivor. 7.5 years ago my world underwent a dramatic shift when I was diagnosed with cancer … stage 3 … with 2 young children. It was an incredible walk and I learned sooo much! God was merciful, faithful, my redeemer and healer. He was tangible … and it was something life changing for many people.

    Today I am delving into my passion and branching out into the professional world of photography. I feel like a caterpillar getting ready to emerge from my chrysalis! For too long, I lived my post cancer life looking in the rearview mirror so to speak …watching and waiting for cancer to rear its head. But … no more! Today I walk forward … a light … an example … a survivor … a child of God.

    Today I vow to embrace and accept myself .. to take chances … to simplify and let go of things that bind me to the mundane … to live more and worry less … to embrace each and every day as an adventure … a moment to be be cherished, celebrated, and lived.

  181. Dennis Qu

    December 2, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Just by luck I get to read your blog. Life is too short but I just find it hard to cease clinging to a job that pays very well with all the perks but which I never want in the first place. Everyday I hate walking into the office, settling down in my cubicle and switching on the workstation. But the comments I have been reading in the thread are helping me bit by bit to make the big decision to move on, to take the chance, to worry less, and most importantly to follow my heart….yes, I shall take the risk!

  182. December 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Life is short so I will… live forever! 7 years ago I took one year’s leave from work as a senior gov’t official in my home state and came to teach in China. I am still in China. After 3 years of extending this leave, I finally applied for resignation permission and left a well-paying and responsible job. Why? Because I realised that I was finally relaxed, that I was looking forward to work every day, that I had time to expand my interests, time to do what I needed to do for me.

    My family and friends are putting great pressure on me to come home – but right now, I’m still not quite ready. I can put it off longer because of technology. This morning I ‘skyped’ with my daughter and could watch my 8 months old grand0-daughter crawl to the computer, wave at me and hear her laugh.

    During the last 7 years I’ve visited more countries than I had done in the previous ever. I’ve climbed mountains, been on camel treks, regularly visit Tibetan friends, camped in yak tents, danced until dawn in noisy discos and nightclubs.

    I have to work – I enjoy eating too much, :) so that means if I want to see more of other countries I have to find work there.

    Do I miss my family an friends back home? Hell yes! BUT… this time is for ME. I’m going to LIVE it!

    Live your life David and may the rain be gentle.

  183. December 3, 2010 at 9:04 am

    …be kinder to everything and everyone.

  184. December 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will… love God and love people. Love is eternal. God is eternal. Heaven is eternal.

    While here: I will laugh, cry, enjoy the gifts of the earth together with friends. I’ll try to be radical, because there nothing to lose. I will try to put others before myself, and be the servant of all. I’ll try not to collect treasures on this earth. They will all disappear. I will long for Heaven, but live fully present on earth every day. And I’ll try to get better at taking pictures;)

  185. Peter Morris

    December 11, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…LOVE.

  186. Gary Jacobs

    December 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…try harder to live my life to the fullest, and remember every day that….LIFE IS SHORT!

  187. Kyle Jones

    December 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Hello, David:
    I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s wife and about the man that you were going to shoot photos with, my prayers will go out to all. Your post hit me. On November 17, 2010 I learned of a good friend of mine who was struggling with his life, it seems he had an abdominal anyerism the previous day. Rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY they performed 2 operations to halt the bleeding. My friend lost his fight the morning of November 18 and has gone home to the Lord. I live in Reno, NV and was unable to fly home to attend his service, he leaves behind a wife and 2 boys. Life is short, therefore I will….continue to pursue the dream that God has placed in my heart of being a photographer, of course. I’ve just recently come to know about you and your work. I want to say thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your heart with others, keep fighting the good fight of faith! I look forward to meeting you one day. God bless and safe travels, Kyle Jones

  188. Mike

    December 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…live like the Samorai who was being chased by a tiger. Running from the tiger, reached a cliff and ran right off. As he fell, he grabbed a branch growing just below the edge of the cliff to stop his fall. The branch held and the Samorai was just out of reach of the hungry tiger’s paws. The Samorai looked down and saw a lion below him at the base of the cliff. The lion, just as hungry, was jumping in the air trying to grab the Samorai from below. As he studied his predicament, the Samorai heard a sound, looked up and saw a large gopher loudly chewing on the branch that the Samorai was using to hold himself between his equally dismal past and future.

    Just at that moment he noticed a plant growing above the branch that held his life in balance. It was the most beautiful strawberry plant with the most beautiful, large and juicy stawberry growing from it.

    With all his strength, he reached up and plucked the stawberry, placed it in his mouth and exclaimed, “Ah, delicious!”

  189. Andy Solaini

    December 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    David this thread has struck a chord with me.

    I have been suffering for the past 5 years with a medical condition that effects my balance and although it’s all but cleared up I still use it as an excuse for not following my dreams. I have all these ideas in my head to travel and to experience the wonders of the world and the people in it. I have been using my condition and just fear of the unknown to not follow these dreams. The one thing I wish to do a long distance cycle tour with my brother. Every time we plan it I think up reasons not to do it. The idea has been there for a long time in the back of my mind and it was when I read your other post about needing to make the change or face a breakdown, I think I am at that stage now. I have no direction in my life and I need something big to kickstart me again.

    Then over Christmas I had a big reality check. Over here in the UK a girl of 25 (only a couple of years younger than me) was murdered a week before Christmas and the body found on Christmas day. Although I have no connection with her at all it has effected me a lot. I can’t stop thinking about how awful it is and how horrific for her parents.
    It has really brought home to me how short life really is. Even if we are totally healthy and have all we need it can still be snuffed out in the blink of an eye.
    If we were to die tomorrow how much of what we want to do have we already done?

    Life is short, and therefore I will…
    ….try my hardest to find the courage to seize my dreams and live life to the fullest.

  190. Melissa Reed

    December 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Andy – you can do it! I totally understand using a medical condition as an excuse (I have a bad back) but sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to get us going in the direction we want to go. We don’t seem to change or take that step unless something propels us in that direction. And when we start moving in that direction, do we ever really fail? Worst case scenario – it doesn’t turn out like we hoped or wanted, but the experience changes us and we learn something from our experience, that hopefully makes us a better person. Good luck! :)

  191. Peter Morris

    December 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    @Melissa Reed
    Peter likes this. Learn and grow.

  192. Melissa Reed

    December 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    @Peter Morris – I guess that’s all we can do, right? Learn and grow – if our hearts are in the right place.

  193. David

    December 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Andy – Thanks for sharing. You, too, Melissa. You know, a lot of people with Type 1 Diabetes allow it to control their lives. I was diagnosed when I was 21 after a rough winter in Russia. My mother told me I could let my diabetes control me or I could control it. It’s not always easy managing it on the road. I have ups and downs. I take 5 injections a day. I have more issues to worry about and have to plan ahead. But the people that stay home probably have the same issues to one degree or another. Or they don’t and I could have complications and end up on dialysis which would kill my travel, but no one knows what’s ahead. All we know is right here, right now. I will not live a long full life safely at home and full of regret. Not everyone can travel; we all have different dreams – but fear is never a reason, and for most of us I suspect there’s a temptation to allow our medical conditions to be an excuse, not a reason. So way to go Andy – live those dreams. They might need tweaking but live them boldy!!

  194. January 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

    David
    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. It really moved and inspired me. I am sorry for what you and your friends are going through but if it inspires you or anyone else to make a change at least some positive will have come from it. As to completing your sentence I have two things I would like to share. The first is a one of my favorite quotes that I keep posted at my desk but don’t read nearly enough. It is by Mary Anne Radmacher and goes like this:
    Live with Intention
    Walk to the Edge
    Listen Hard
    Practice Wellness
    Play with Abandon
    Laugh
    Choose with no Regret
    Continue to Learn
    Appreciate Your Friends
    Do What You Love
    Live As If This Is All There Is
    The second is something I wrote myself called My Why. I read it everyday to keep my eye on the prize.
    I will stop feeling trapped. Trapped by circumstances. Trapped by the economy. Trapped by my fear. I will spend my life doing what I want to do instead of what I have to do. I will grow as a person. I will work with and be surrounded by positive people. I will feel like I’ve accomplised something HUGE! I will show people that the world is a beautiful place and that anything is possible; that life is supposed to be full of joy and wonder! I will sleep everyday until I’m done. I will CREATE! I will SHARE! I will TEACH! I will open people’s eyes to possibility! I will not die with my music still in me! I will LIVE instead of just EXIST!

  195. March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Life is short. Therefore I will, get my house in order, make sure my kids and my partner know that I love them daily, sleep soundly, play my bass guitar, ride my bike for the sake of enjoyment, eat only the best food for my body, be brilliant, work hard on one dream at a time, focus, rest, be thankful, never panic, help others, share everything I have, inspire others, help those who feel overwhelmed or have lost their way.

  196. March 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Life is too short. Therefore I will “throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

  197. MelissaJoATL

    March 15, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Life is Short, and Therefore, I’m releasing my first CD at 42 years old and backing my own dream with the inheritance from my ancestors. I will continue to wear my heart on my sleeve with love, and to shine as the example I am for friends, family, or anyone with the eyes to see. For as we live our own best uniqueness, we do inspire others to take that first step, with empowerment, towards their own dreams. Every voice Is Sacred, and Every Dream Counts! I continue to use the Net as a Force for Change and Good, to discuss previously Taboo subjects openly (asking Why), and to open my mind Wider, allowing more In, as I get older, rather than narrowing my views smaller to fit anyone else’s picture. I will act when my intuition prompts me. I will follow my own internal Goddess-guidance. I will encourage others and help in any way I can, for this is sorely needed in the world. I will love every moment I am blessed to be a living creation of our Mother Earth, and work into and realize my dream of living completely off the grid and self-co-sustainably upon her. We each make a difference, and we each are needed. We have one planet that we know is livable, at present – so we need to get over our boundary systems and invent something new that works well for everyone. I plan and intend to be part of that experimental difference, when it comes, for it is coming. Choose from Love over Fear, and Listen to and Follow your Own Heart, and you will be well ~ OneLove ~

  198. Leanne Mackenzie

    April 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Life is too short, therefore I will …. TRY TO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF !!!

  199. Jenny U

    April 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Life is too short, therefore I will ….:
    Tell my children & hubby I love them very much everyday
    Talk to my mum everyday
    Go travel and see the world as much as I can
    Take time to call my relatives and friends
    Take time to smell the roses
    Take time to hug my children
    Take time to laugh
    Not get angry
    Be happy
    And always remember that life is too short to get worry or sweat over the small stuff…

  200. April 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    […] Luckily, he will recover after surgery and a long rest. This incident reminded me of a recent blog post David had written in which he called on his readers to complete this sentence: Life is short, and […]

  201. Anku

    May 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I hate my job as much as i can. Life is short, i will go with my heart. I will quit this job and will do what i love to do. I will take actions now rather than thinking.

  202. Eddy Rademaker

    May 24, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Life is short and actions speak more than words.
    4 yrs ago my wife Chris discovered a lump in her breast, luck was with us and she is still here today with us due to medical intervention and her own spirit to live.
    Cancer was consuming her life (mentally), I introduced her to photography as a hobby which we now share together. Well long story cut short she now thinks less about Cancer and puts the energy she used worrying about cancer, into her photography.
    We have a great life together with 2 great teenage children. I can’t imagine life without her but I hope she is not too sad when I am gone because I’ve enjoyed my life to date.
    It is difficult balancing responsibilities and living for the now but we do our best.
    Eddy

  203. ezit

    June 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Life is too short and the world is more than just awesome. I value my life- I value the world I’m living in- And that makes me happy.I trust my feeling. I’m not afraid of spending my cash. i will keep traveling more and complaint less. i will capture the beautiful of every moments, and i will come back as a story teller. I work hard, i play harder. I feel beautiful and i deserve it. The death is not me to decide. Come what may =)

  204. Stefan

    August 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    A lot of people have (had) their own private stuff, like David’s Italian experience and so did I.

    Life is short, and therefore I will…live more consciously in the present.

    Nice words but that is still not reality, it is the first step to compass a new route so……the challenge for me is to translate that in reality from the new conscious behaviour into practice.
    For me…food for thought…….AND GO FOR ACTION !

  205. November 6, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I am inspired by you. I really love to take photo, to raise emotion and message thru the photos. I never have time to get out of my daily life, my family, my job or my step-by-step career plans. I afraid of being poor, of getting the dissapointed eyes from other people. But like you said, life is short, …

  206. November 16, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I agree wholeheartedly to increase awareness of your day to day and your dreams… and I’d like to add to that idea.

    My son is 3 and people are constantly saying how fast life goes. It’s true, but in addition to getting to things you love, it’s important to live in the moment and remember a day really is a significant amount of time that you can experience and digest to a satisfying conclusion. The whole concept of “life is short” is good to remember, but not a good concept to live by day to day. Better to be aware of everything – both the exciting and the dull and mundane and appreciate them with awareness and equanimity.

    Life is long if you really pay attention to details and realize that a lot of life is not a party – but those responsibilities and things we cannot change can be just as rewarding as our “dreams” as long as we’re looking out for other people as much as we’re looking out for ourselves.

    Sure, I could die tomorrow – but even though my job is not exactly what I want to do (I’m a Realtor for crissakes) I have a lot of opportunities because of that job that I wouldn’t have without it and I have to appreciate that as much as work towards becoming all the other things I’d like to be in this life.

  207. jools

    November 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    …let my kids know how much i love them
    …try to forgive and forget quickly
    …be a more loving aunt
    …be gentle with my words

  208. Jason

    February 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    W.h.o.a. I’m not familiar with photography or David, but I was just searching google for “Life, and how short it is”, when this blog was nearly the top result. ^_^ I didn’t realize until I started reading the comments that this is a couple years old, but not for me. Life is short, and therefore I will stop worrying about having the latest gadgets and phones and cars and start spending more time with my wife and family.

  209. JC

    February 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Vested by choice we are forever endowed with the sweet emotions of escape. Let it be by that by which we convert, commit, and convict ourselves to further extending boundaries. Transcend. Be of calm wake and long stride, be-gifted by, and returned to the wind, aloft on adventures eloquent breath. May the watchful eye carry you further to enlightenment. May you realign your posture and savor this sweet Earth. Be Free!

  210. Ian Derthick

    July 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Life is short, and therefore I will…ask a girl out within 7 days.

  211. Alia

    July 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Life is short, and therefore I will…attempt to figure out why I was put on Earth in the first place.