Sunday, September 9, 2012

living with purpose: right now is the best time of your life!

What’s your biggest worry in life? When I was in high school, my biggest worry was getting into college. In college, my biggest worry was getting a job. Now that I’m working, my worries seem to multiply, running the gamut from what my life purpose is, to what my true professional calling is, to who I’m going to marry and where I’m going to settle down and live into my old age… super neurotic, right?

Worrying is universal – who doesn’t think about these life questions? But our worries are also connected to our own self-imposed expectations and standards. Expectations like “My mother got married at 23, so I should too” or “My dad has a Ph.D, so I need one as well” can turn into rigid standards which can ultimately make us lead our entire lives mimicking and pleasing others. 

I’m guilty of these expectations. I often try to fit my life into neat little time buckets, setting mental checklist of to-do’s with specific deadlines. The need to actively direct my life is something that I have always indulged in, from the smallest task (organizing my week) to more abstract challenges (planning my career for the next 5 years). But the older I get, the more I realize that it takes a village to nurture an individual.... not just said individual's Type A personality ;)


Two important lessons I’ve learned in the past year is A) that no matter what, there will be things that I cannot control, and B) Sometimes, that’s for the better. Learning to let go of control was the best advice I’ve ever taken, and the first step is to have a little faith… that good things can happen without you exerting your own direction; that not everything should happen when you want them to (because fate can be sweeter than your own imagination); that mistakes and failures can make you a better person than success.

My daily motto is: Right Now is the best time of my life. Does that make sense? If right now is the best time of my life, then maybe I don’t need to strategize so much about the future....because when tomorrow, next week, or next year comes around, Right Now will still be the best time, at that time. No wonder Pepsi’s new global campaign is called Live For Now… seems like the perfect prescription for our worry-prone generation, no?

(Photos: A young, ravishing Julie Andrews; a couple kissing at a cafe; people with masks from the book, Masquerade by Saul Steinberg and Inge Morath.)

PS: Previous Living with Purpose columns on the pro's and con's of accountability and taking a 25 minute vow.


  1. helen this post is great!!! i love it! seriously this is great advice!! i need it!

  2. Amen. There are so many things I think I should be doing. Oh, my former classmates have all been dating their boyfriends for a year and they're all engaged? Craig and I are going on three and we're not? Like it makes me wonder what is wrong with me. But you know, it's important to remember to live your life for you, not for anyone else. That's what makes my life so amazing. It's mine, no one else's. And that's how I like it :)

    1. Preach!!! Time isn't our enemy :)Way to live your life for you, Alex!

  3. Helen you crack me up! I loved meeting you at the GLAM dinner and had so much fun "fighting" over eye-creams and lipsticks with you!! Thanks for the advice, right now is the best time, lets live it up!

    I think I gave you my DaughtersofSimone card, but here's my blog too:

  4. AGREED, Helen! Being in the moment, appreciating the moment, loving your life exactly as it is... these are elusive but essential things to strive for. You're so young and already so accomplished - have faith that great things will continue to happen to you. (Because they will!) xo


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