#YOLO – can you really live by that?

#YOLO. or “You Only Live Once”. A hashtag and Internet slang. I first encountered on Twitter.

For those of us (is it just me?) not within the teens’ generation, it really is almost synonymous to carpe diem, but with a negative connotation. YOLO has become a convenient and sometimes ridiculous excuse for thoughtless actions. Yet today a friend shared a story of her encounter with a brain cancer patient, similarly quoting: YOLO.

This got me thinking. We worry about societal views. We are afraid to lose out in that race – whatever the race is. We don’t wish to “waste time”. Result: we conform. We end up as that typical banker/marketer/consultant/________. We then realise that there’s still a dream we wish to pursue but never did. Complaints and regrets abound, but we do little to make a change. (or maybe there’s little we could do, but let’s leave this to another post.) Maybe if we tried a little harder than we already have, we’ll get that bit further.

I am too, confined by social norms. But I shall take my little steps to break free, albeit rather slowly.

Hop on a flight to the country you longed to visit – and remember to do it when you’re financially and physically able to.
Take on the job that you’ve wished to – even it all else fails in future, at least you’ve tried.
Pursue your dream.

I wouldn’t encourage anything stupid like killing your liver with 30 tequila shots per night, or hitting your most-hated co-worker in the face and getting into a lawsuit on the excuse of YOLO. At least within reasonable means, do what you wish, or which you might otherwise regret the day you take your last breath. Because at that point, societal views that have caged you for the past forty years cannot make up for the time lost, and they will no longer matter.

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