Life Is Too Short (or Too Long?)

Life is too short. We hear this all of the time. While this mentality can put you in a state of initiative, I’d suggest it’s rather short-sighted and it seemingly turns life into either a race or a competition to see who can get the most stuff done.

I hate hearing “life is too short,” as if we should be granted more time. As if we’re deserving of more time. As if having just a little more time would enable us to do something significant. As if the time we have is limiting us. The truth is, the universe doesn’t owe us anything. “Life is short” is merely a perspective you choose to take on. Have you ever considered the inverse?

  • Life is too long to be constantly shifting gears.
  • Life is too long to not commit to learning a craft.
  • Life is too long to be seeking out shortcuts.
  • Life is too long to not take a break and enjoy life a little.
  • Life is too long to not be patient.
  • Life is too long to be overly sucked into your work.
  • Life is too long to not adventure every once in a while.
  • Life is too long to be constantly busy.
  • Life is too long to maintain a state of sadness or negativity.
  • Life is too long to think it’s some kind of game you can win.

None of this is to say life is longer than it should be, but rather the way in which we view life and the amount of time we have here is all in our perspective. Believing life is too short sets you up for failure, it puts in a mindset of limitations, it allows you to create the excuse that life is inherently working against you.

With the perspective of life is too long, there are no excuses. When you choose to view life as more of a gift than something to take for granted, time and the potential of what you can do with it almost seems limitless.

Life is too long isn’t necessarily about enabling you to do amazing things, and it’s not just about what you can accomplish while you’re here on Earth—focusing solely on accomplishments is why people think life is too short—but rather it’s about being able to enjoy what you’re doing. It’s about viewing life as a process rather than a series of sprints in an attempt to reach the podium as many times as you can.

With all of this being said, you aren’t limited to the binary of either viewing life as short or long. In fact, you can view it as both. The point is to recognize that there are different perspectives to which we view life and so you don’t have to get sucked into what everyone else sees.

If we take a look into the cubist work of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque then we can see a direct role of perspective. Looking at the work of these two, it’s obvious that they were capable of seeing the world differently—from a new perspective. Picasso and Braque, the fathers of Cubism, are responsible for arguably one of the most innovative art movements that went on to influence and perhaps enable the many movements following it.

“Scientific perspective forces the objects in a picture to disappear away from the beholder instead of bringing them within his reach as a painting should.” — Georges Braque

When the objects are in the grasp of the viewer, the viewer has control over their own perception of depth and perspective. Braque has also stated, “I have always had to touch things and not merely see them.” With these two statements taken into account, one could view cubist paintings as a process of understanding.

If we apply the same concept to our own lives, then by changing our perspectives and daring to deviate from the norm, we’ll further develop a process of understanding. Everyone will tell you that life is too short, but there’s also the possibility that perhaps life is too long or maybe it’s just the right amount. What else is everyone saying? See if there are other ways to look at it.

The header image for this post is Pablo Picasso’s Nude Woman, except it’s rotated to be seen horizontally allowing you to see it from a new perspective.