You Only Live Once

Jul 26, 2012 in , ,

YOLO stands for “You Only Live Once“ and pops up everywhere I go online in various forms, from hand-drawn artwork to web designs and tweets from a particular friend who loves the phrase.

Many live by this motto, but others oppose YOLO — which seems to have become a movement in its own right — and for good reason too. YOLO, to some, encourages reckless living, all for the sake of living life to the fullest. Some youths take it literally and do foolish things such as driving dangerously, smoking or even doing drugs.

For most of us, we know that having a great time isn’t worth ruining the rest of our lives. Instead, we seek to live our lives in more meaningful ways. We desire to make the best of what we are given and to create a good future for ourselves.

Nevertheless, it gets tiring to keep going all of the time, always pushing ourselves to the limit. It’s not always easy to look for the silver lining, and even naturally happy people have their sad days.

A quote from David Nicholls’ book One Day reads, “Live each day as if it’s your last.“ That was normal advice at the time, but really, “…who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical.“ Instead of just ending there, however, that paragraph goes on: “Better, by far, to be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things.“

As I read One Day, it was this part that stood out the most to me; months after I read it, these words stayed in my mind. What I took away from it is that since we only live once, we should go out and do our best to leave a positive impact, to love and be loved and to be happy, without feeling guilty when we have our bad days.