Time: The Enemy of Life

A friend, K, recently made a surprising decision about what he wants to do for a career. This K is the same K I wrote about in the fortunate case of a misdiagnosis.

After getting the shock of his life when he was mistakenly told he had cancer, he realized how little he enjoyed doing what he did and wanted to spend the rest of his life doing something else. Even after he found out it was a misdiagnosis, he decided to go ahead with his original plan, resigned from his company, and proceeded to start his own consulting business and an exercise class for children because, in his words, “life is too short to be doing something I don’t like.”

Less than a year later, the shock settled and he probably began to realize that the amount of time he’s got left is more than what he had thought about a year ago. He’s still got a lot of time to try “do something else.” And as life would have it, a long time friend of his suddenly contacted him and offered to hire him for a significant amount of salary. After some deliberation, he decided to take it and transferred his business to someone else.

While it’s got no direct relation to me, I somehow felt a tinge of disappointment. The inspiring story that I wanted to continue sharing with lots of people for a long long time just got taken away from me. And perhaps this disappointment got conveyed to him somehow.

He had told me how much they were paying him before he made the decision and I could understand how the money is a big draw. After all, despite eventually having turned away a couple of jobs paying almost SGD$10,000 a month, I did struggle to arrive at the decision each time the opportunity was presented to me. When he said he decided to take it, I didn’t ask further because it was really good money. Further, he’s got family and children to feed. It’s easier for me since I’m irresponsible I’ve got neither. But perhaps being the few people who knew about his story to the entrepreneurship, he felt the need to justify his choice and came to tell me, “I need the money because my son is entering college next year.”

It’s his decision and I respect that. After all, I don’t know the full story to his financial or family situation so I’m not going to judge either. But for a short moment, it felt like after coming to the realization that he’s still got a lot of time left, he forsook his dream. The good news is, since he already paid for the franchise and signed a contract, he will hire someone to take the classes and continue running it.

Perhaps having too little time isn’t the enemy of life. Having too much time is.


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