There are currently over 7.5 billion people on the planet. Yes, 7,500,000,000+ people! The number is so large, it’s hard to conceive.
It’s easy to feel like a small fish in an enormous pond. It’s easy to feel like our individual lives don’t matter. After all, what possible impact can one individual have in such a huge world?
If you ever start to feel this way, just remember: Your life matters. You matter. You have something to contribute to the world that no one else has.
Have you ever known someone who has committed suicide, or someone who experienced the suicide of someone close to them? Then you’ve seen how much the life of one individual matters. Perhaps the person who took their own life was in a place where they couldn’t think beyond themselves and believed that their actions would only affect them. But you knew that wasn’t true. Family members, friends, coworkers, and members of the community were all impacted by that one decision, and for many of them, it’s a pain they’ll never recover from.
We’re often not aware of the impact we have on others, and there’s no way we can know the extent of it. I’m certain that at some point in your life, you’ve given some excellent advice to an acquaintance that changed the course of their life. You may have said exactly the right thing to a friend in a moment of need that allowed them to tackle a challenge head on. You may have done a small kindness that seemed like nothing to you at the time but changed a stranger’s day for the better. This is the invisible impact we have on others that can make a big difference in the world without us realizing it.
Pain of Discipline, or Pain of Regret
Once you’ve accepted the truth that your life matters, you need to decide how to use it. The way I see it, you have two choices: you can experience the pain of discipline and working hard, or the pain of regret for having given up on your dreams. Either way, you’ll experience pain.
I’ll tell you a secret. It’s something I learned firsthand after becoming an author and motivational speaker, something I wanted to do for a long time. It’s this: Even though I felt the pain as I worked towards achieving my dreams, it was entirely worth it. Unlike the pain of
regret, which follows you to your last days, the pain of discipline is gone once you’ve reached your goal. It’s suddenly a distant memory.
There’s a quote from Muhammad Ali that fits here. He said “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” He’s clearly someone who chose the pain of discipline over the pain of regret.
How Are You Going to Use It?
As long as you’re alive, you’re able to serve others and make a positive difference in this world. And that’s why your life matters.