“Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away…”
Odds are you’ve heard or read that one before. It’s one of the more often-circulated inspirational quotes.
It’s one that’s always bugged me. Let me explain why…
To me, it perpetuates a consumerist mindset towards life, which prizes the ever-greater accumulation of new and unique experiences, while ignoring the world-changing momentum that is created by routine. Especially routine in service to a cause bigger than ourselves.
Because honestly, routine is absolutely not sexy.
It’s not aspirational, or glamorous, or romantic.
What it is, however, is incredibly powerful.
In a lot of ways, it is precisely the number of breaths you take, and the way you choose to employ them, that will determine the parameters of your life. The discipline of habit, of digging deep, of getting your hands dirty, of the hard work that nobody sees… Whether it’s in your health, your study, your career or your relationships, those disciplines will be what will bring the real richness when you look back over your life.
The right routine, in service to the right purposes, over a lifetime? That’s the way to make your life count.
And certainly, spending yourself in that way will also lead to the amazing moments that take your breath away. But those rare, mountain-top moment are like the big emotional climax of a move – without the other 99% of the story, they’re meaningless.
Making today matter isn’t about constantly chasing new experiences as ends in themselves. It’s about building the routines of your life around the pursuit of something bigger than yourself and your experiences – thought it will lead to some amazing ones along the way, too.
What is one routine in your life you can adjust to be more deliberate in crafting a lifestyle that honours what really matters to you?