A Guy Once Told me, “Life Is too Short”

It was winter 2012 and I was in a business trip with the managing partner of a venture capital in Paris. While we were sitting in a restaurant and just after I ordered Foie gras and duck, our conversation got a little philosophical. We were talking  about work and our topic got to the entrepreneur’s character when Mitchell said: “Amir, life is too short. Even if we live 200 years, it is still too short relative to the whole history of human.” … and I frankly don’t remember the rest of that discussion and it didn’t come to me until last week when in a startup event a fresh student asked me: “How can I get to your position? What did you do to get there? How should I plan and what should I do?”. It was hard to answer his questions, but what I did recall was what Mitchell told me at that night.  Evidently the student was lost in his life and missed the life’s path.

Life is too short, there is no doubt about it and even if we get help from the technology to double our longevity, it is still too short and is awarded to us once, however, what to do with this awarded life is still a big question to many people.

come to me until last week when in a startup event a fresh student asked me: “How can I get to your position? What did you do to get there? How should I plan and what should I do?”. It was hard to answer his questions, but what I did recall was what Mitchell told me at that night.  Evidently the student was lost in his life and missed the life’s path.

We first are born and spend a childhood, part of which, we might be able to remember until we go to school. Then a daily routine starts and a systematic learning goes on without knowing exactly any mission than getting good grades. After that we get to high school, college and university where we are able to chose a major and study something. The motives differ from person to person and from culture to culture. Then we graduate and get a job and earn money and while we are doing all these we might get a high position and become so called “successful” too. We might also marry and start a new family, in which our children follow almost the same path. In the whole process of life, we are following the same pattern, but what makes the difference is when different people have different satisfaction from their lives derived from the difference in motives. Some people love their life and feel good, while some others might be missing their path and don’t know why they are born for. Actually, this is the key question: “Why are we born?” …and once you find the answer to this question you are not lost in your life anymore.

We all have a missions in life that we should fulfill in our short lives. To find your mission, what my experience taught me is to think a little out of the box and to avoid planning too much. Yes, my answer to the student’s question is that you should not DO NOT PLAN TOO MUCH, but instead, make a contingency plan and let your heart take you to places where you can explore the world first. It can be anywhere or doing anything. 

Besides that, if you really need a motive other than money. If the money is the only motive in your life, you missed the path again. The mission of your life is something beyond all those. You should be able to make an impact and make change in the world around you. Finding the exact mission takes time and experience and is contingent upon many factors, which are not under your control. You should be able to react to the changes in life and that’s why you can’t have a fixed plan from the beginning. 

There might be people thinking the other way, for instance, some people might say that I did plan to become a brain surgeon and I did become so after years of planning and goal setting. It is trues, people set goals and those who are in pursuit of their dreams, will make it through and those who don’t will fail. Moreover, among those who decided to become the brain surgeon only some of them can make it through. Those who responded well to the changes in the environment. Those who really loved to become the brain surgeon and those who had a real mission in life other than making money. Their mission was to save lives and create new methods. 

Entrepreneurs are mission oriented and those who are really keen to take risk and make real change, have a mission in life. Those who just gamble on starting something in order to ride the wave or just consider entrepreneurship as an option, won’t not get where the real risk-taking-mission-oriented entrepreneurs do. Follow your heart, have dreams, have vision, set goals, set milestones, but DO NOT PLAN TOO MUCH! Life is an adventure!