No ‘Yolo’… Live Life Smart, Not Necessarily For The Moment

As I write this article now, I have no idea if people still say “YOLO” or not. YOLO or ‘You Only Live Once’ started out as a cool motto popularized by rapper Drake in his song, “The Motto” about living life to the fullest. The problem is, YOLO became an excuse for dumbasses to make stupid life choices because “Hey, you only live once.” Instead of using the inspiring motto to work on positive attributes in their lives like painting a mural, climbing a mountain or swimming with dolphins, YOLO is now the battle cry for a whole generation of social media frenzy kids to go out and party every night, do drugs and have sex without proper protection.

The problem with YOLO, besides what I just mentioned is that I am fully aware that we only live once. This time NOW is the only time I’ll have on this Earth. It can be scary to think about at times but with limited time of life, it makes it all the more precious. It’s no longer socially acceptable to live in a way that just pleases me and doesn’t outrage others, I have to seize every day like the last and give it my all. It’s not enough to work towards being happy later on in life-I have to be happy now, not then, not soon but right now. The problem with living in the moment as I see it is that I’m never quite sure if I’ve enjoyed myself until whatever I am doing is over with. I’ll give you an example, I once chaperoned a school field trip with my niece who was 5 or 6 at the time to Port Discovery in Baltimore, MD. Apart from a long tiring day of running around chasing snot nosed kids all day and trying to hook up with another’s kid’s mom, I wasn’t really sure if I was enjoying myself until I got home and had the chance to think back on the day’s events. I had fun, my niece thoroughly enjoyed herself but was I living in the moment at that time? Most likely not. The range of happiness and pleasure one gets by living in the moment is very small unless you’re drunk or high, you’re generally stuck in the moment. Can you tell if you’re enjoying a moment in that moment? I can’t most of the time until the moment is done with and then I’m just living in the past so I’m not really enjoying the moment.

We as humans are too intelligent a species to live in the moment. Animals do that everyday because they generally have no sense of time, responsibility and shame which allows them to live everyday like it’s their last because it might be. A lion in the jungle doesn’t work five days a week at a dead end soul crushing job to cut loose on the weekends doing whatever it is he loves, only to return on Monday to start the routine over again. A tiger doesn’t go to school for 12 plus years to get a degree for a dream job.

Honestly living in the moment is a horrible idea if you think about it, there’s a reason we are supposed to stop and think about our actions before we do them because being too impulsive can leave to damaging consequences. Prisons and Graves are full of people who lived in the moment. Enjoy life on your terms even if it takes a while to get to where you’d like to be. Don’t rush things.

Too short term a goal and the only thing you’ll enjoy is an orgasm.  Too long term a goal and it’ll all be a plan to enjoy something you’ll never be able to get to.

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Adrian "A.D." Dubard
Born in Washington DC, Adrian was placed in the care of his maternal grandparents after his mother died when he was a baby. For the most part of his life, Adrian’s biological father was absent from his life. Growing up with a house full of cousins, aunts and uncles, Adrian began his love of writing to document his surroundings. Attending a private school for 9 ½ years, it was there that many influential teachers help strengthen his love of writing via English and creative writing classes. Even though, Adrian loved to write he was reserved about what he wrote about. Leaving DC at the age of 7, Adrian and his family moved to Temple Hills, Maryland in Prince George’s not too far from where he had lived previously. Luckily, Adrian had taken part in many youth outreach programs as a youth that allowed him to travel and see the country, many kids he knew around his own age hadn’t even left the city. These experiences opened his eyes to other cultures and ways of living. As a teenager, Adrian had many friends who passed away before their time but he promised to keep writing to honor their memory. Other than writing, Adrian has helped various charities rise by going on public speaking tours. Some of these charities include The Safe Haven Project and The Journey of Hope. He has contributed to several book projects and currently resides in Queens, NY. Read more articles by Adrian.