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So, we are eating dinner at home and a lively conversation is going on at the dinner table, especially with our two daughters being as loud as they can be.  They know only two volumes typically, LOUD or asleep.  Of course, me being the old-fashioned dad when it comes to slang of the youth and various newer acronyms, I get lost.  Since I have almost 20 years with the Air Force, active and reserve, I know many of the military ones.  Many of those don’t require being published or explained here.

They are telling obnoxious and whimsical stories, loudly, and they finish with yelling “YOLO!”  Again, I have no idea what that means but figured it can’t be that bad since my wife hasn’t said anything to them.  The younger daughter grins and starts another story, an officer might ask; “Why were you driving 40 miles over the speed limit?” Their answer to the nice policeman would be; “YOLO!” they both yell, laughing heartily.  “Okay, what is this YOLO?” I ask.  That question demands a sisterly knowing laugh between the two of them.  They continue on for a few more scenarios with YOLO being the loud conclusion to their snippets.

Finally, they stop laughing long enough to explain that YOLO means “You Only Live Once”.  With their young minds, they think of the crazy things like driving 40 miles over the speed limit and answering the officer in such a rude answer.  This is their humorous way of not having regrets, like eating ice cream late at night at their age.  Hmm, maybe they are onto something here.  It may not be the great and deep conversation or dinner talk you might expect, but perhaps something to ponder for the older folks, like me.

You Only Live Once is their answer to “life’s” problems, at least during their candid story times.  They do know better overall.  Now, if we took that and really visited what that meant to someone who has a bit of life experience, we might be on to something here.  Why not do something a bit crazy or a bit out of the norm?  YOLO!  Why not take a chance at something you always wanted to do?  YOLO!  It doesn’t have to be as outlandish as bungee jumping in some exotic rain forest or racing a motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats trying to break speed records, then again; maybe for you it is a YOLO attitude that can take you there.

What is the greatest disappointment we hear from older people and their stories?  It is their regrets.  To them, they are real and they should have taken those chances; whether it was that special love interest, their dream job, a business, learning to fly, SCUBA diving, traveling the world or learning to ride a bike.  YOLO!  Now, I am not going to propose you just jump off of a cliff without due diligence.  As an example, I love motorcycles.  I would not own or ride one right now since traffic where I live is crazy plus I am the primary breadwinner for my family.  To me, I am okay not getting a motorcycle, for now.  My family has the higher priority.

Other chances or dreams you can follow and make real without that apparent danger of being a two-wheel target.  There are ways to weigh the various things you want to do, YOLO.  It would require you to prioritize what you love and would like to do.  From the example, my family is ranked higher than motorcycles.  That may change when all the kids are out of the house.  I would just reassess my priorities at that age.

It is time to make that list of priorities. It is a form of analysis.  I recommend using a pencil as things can move up or down your list.  Yes, you could use a computer, but I like the idea of writing things down.  What is the overall cost?  Is it a money cost or a time cost?  With money cost, you can make more or do with less depending on your list.  Time cost though is limited to 168 hours a week.  I can’t change that and neither can you.  You have to make the decision to either watch something on TV or DO something to bring this concept into your world.  Next to your YOLO list put in other columns across your paper for the time and money categories.  What would it take to follow your dreams, to cross that line of YOLO?   To not have regrets and take your dream, no matter how “crazy” and bring it to the real world.

Now that your list has been created (action taken), see if you could follow this new YOLO acronym for your life.  Does it require you to change what you do?  Does it make you think about opportunities you could seize?  Would you need to move?  What about those you missed?  Who else does it affect?  We are being adults here so we may have to think of others and outcomes, YET it is your life and we do only live once.  If you are to take this into your life as something to consider, take your time and your list then consider what ACTIONS you need to do to make these a reality.

Once you have your “finalized” list (which can be changed or updated later), see how it relates to your current reality.  Does it answer some of the questions in the previous paragraphs?  Remember, having plans and goals are great, yet you have to ACT and DO in order to bring them to reality, remember YOLO!!

For some, this might be finally moving towards your passion.  A large part of these directions include creating a budget of time and money.  You can now see this outside of your head and can move forward with your YOLO life.  Take the chance that will make you yell YOLO!!!


Darren Rayborn



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Comment by Darren Rayborn on June 14, 2012 at 8:26pm

Thank you very much for the great comment. I do appreciate your time and glad you liked it.

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