By Xinyuan Deng (Irvine, CA, US)
Live As If You Are To Die Next Minute
How to spend a minute’s life? Do as most things as possible and look up at the stars.
What can we do in one minute? Eat a small ice cream, read two pages of a book, make a short phone call, brush teeth… In this four-minute film, we see that one minute can also be a life for a fly. At the beginning of the movie, as he arrives in this world, the fly unwillingly knows that his life is only one minute. He receives a list from a dead fly, and he finds out that he has many things to do within this one minute. Bite a coati, get drunk, fall in love, produce descendants… He tries hard to do these things; however, in the last few seconds of his life, he finds out that there are two dreams can never come true. One is to watch the stars, and another is to be famous. Indeed, his life is only one minute; how can he wait till the stars show and how can he get famous with nobody nearby. He is desperate. However, resin falling from the sky freezes his life in the last second, and his two dreams come true accidentally.
Unlike this fly, most people have no concept of how short life is when they are young. They always think that there is still plenty time to do things they want to do. Even though they have not done the thing today, they can continue it tomorrow. However, if we can think less and try more, even though we cannot get the fulfillment in life, we can at least have fewer regrets. The fly in the movie is lucky because although he ends up locking inside the amber, his last dreams become true somehow. Most people are not so fortunate as him. Accidents are the least rare things in this world. We can never predict what will happen tomorrow. So, why not live as full as possible today and try your best to accomplish things you want to do today, not to postpone it to tomorrow.
What is the meaning of life? For me, life is to do the things I want, so even though I am to die tomorrow, I can say proudly that I did not idle my yesterday away. After watching this film, I am inspired to write down a list of what to do. Bucket list is not a new term, there was a movie named Bucket List which inspired lots of people. When talking about the bucket list, we should also mention time management. I remember that I have read a book named “How to Get Control of Your Time and Life” before, the author requires readers to list the things they want to do within six months, half year, and the whole life. Then, list them according to your own priority.
The first step is to come up with what your dreams are. Below are several dreams I have:
• Spend my New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
• Enjoy a hot spring and look up at the aurora in Alaska.
• Get good grades in my finals.
• Be a health counselor.
• Raise a dog named “Kitty” and raise a cat named “Puppy”.
• Bungee jumping
• Set up my own mental health clinic
When we are writing down this list, we do not have to think about how to realize them, or how much money it cost. We can write down all the things we want to do, including our childhood dreams, the knowledge we want to learn, or the food we want to eat, etc. Also, we do not have to write it down within one day, we can add things in once we have new dreams. This is the list of things we want to do before die.
The second step is to classify our dreams and detail them. After I have had my bucket list, I find that some of these dreams can be classified into one theme, so I conclude my dreams into categories. I realize that although I have lots of things to do, my main categories are career and travelling. After knowing this, I can have a general guide of my life, and then, within this category, I need to come up with procedures I should do step by step to make it doable. For example, I know my career goal is to be a mental health counselor, and this is a big dream, which requires lots of work to do. Then, I can break this dream down into small steps:
• I need work hard in my major courses
• I should get to know my professors to get advice for my school work and career arrangement
• I am supposed to know the certifications I should get.
• I ought to search for the intern opportunities in my field.
Once we have begun these small steps and get to know this field better, we can divide these steps into even smaller steps. One benefit of breaking down big problem into smaller tasks is that once we have succeeded finishing some of these small tasks, we can have a sense of achievement, and this feeling can promote us to continue to overcome the next tasks, and hence make the dream come closer.
The third step is to adjust our dreams. While we are practicing these dreams, we might find that some of them are so unrealistic that we cannot achieve them for now. At this time, we should make some repositions. We can revise, delete, or add some steps, or we can find the substitution. For example, if I want to be a writer, I can be a magazine contributor first, or I can be a content editor of a website. This is not a compromise after realizing the distance between reality and dream; this is to pave the stepping stone for our dreams.
Life is short, what are you waiting for? List your bucket list and take action today!