When Drake dropped his magnum opus, The Motto, even he said he was not expecting it to catch on like it did. We have heard it now as an excuse for every stupid behavior in the book, from the mundane of ordering pizza again, to the straight irresponsible like going to LIV on a weeknight.
The thing that we are missing in the meantime is the pure genius behind the reminder that we really only live once.
Use that motto to your advantage by doing some truly amazing things while you have the chance and not just to increase your cholesterol and/or chances of liver disease.
Learn to Say “Yes” More
A lot of us avoid using our vacation days in order to cash them out at the end of the year and be the “good guy” at work who never leaves on vacation, meanwhile we burn ourselves out until we are snapping at the receptionist when he forgets to add us to the lunch takeout order. Or maybe we avoid doing something mildly risky because we are worried about a possible injury, but then sit in awe of the person in the break room telling tales of skydiving and ziplining in scenic locales.
When you get that text from a friend that says, “Hey this destination marathon in a few months looks amazing,” and you automatically feel jealous that they will probably end up loving every minute of it and you will later scroll through their good time on Instagram later, take a pause. Give yourself a little reminder of, “YOLO,” that a random adventure in Iceland with a good friend probably won’t be an opportunity that arises often in life and consider saying yes. This is how amazing lives worth living happen. Not by doing everything you want every minute of the day, by draining your bank account on random nonsense that does nothing for your soul, but by saying yes to a handful of truly amazing experiences as they present themselves.
The Benefits of Meaningful Experiences
Not to mention, if you are regularly having mostly responsible nights, with a few meaningful, inspiring occasions throughout the year, you are much more likely to feel fulfilled in the long term. Enriching connections with friends and family in a once in a lifetime venue or activity, like a hot air balloon ride, or jumping into a hot spring, or learning to surf or ski, will mean more than 100 nights out could ever achieve.
These types of experiences also spur creativity because they revive us and energize us in ways our regular environment cannot. The theory of hedonic adaption conceptualizes that after a few days of enjoying some new part of your environment i.e. a higher floor or a new leather couch, you will settle back into your same stable setpoint of happiness. So everyday upgrades tend not to be as meaningful over time.
That’s not to say you must drop every somewhat normal activity you have, you should enjoy your day to day as well, but be willing to go all out on those moments that you will never get an opportunity to do again.
So the next time something unique and a little scary presents itself, hit that Spotify search, and repeat The Motto to yourself until you think of a way to fit that 16-day hike through the Silk Road route into your calendar. You can always hope for reincarnation, but it might be better to just live during this life in the meantime.