I love acronyms, I really do. They’ve been used for ages, and it’s a lot easier to say PNF than it is to say proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Unfortunately, as digital communication has become increasingly popular in the past decade, acronyms are popping up quicker than “Call Me Maybe” lipsync videos. When you’re limited to 140 or 160 characters, you tend to say things such as, “OMG I cnt w8 2 C U l8r LOL.” Yes, your message was understood, but it makes my eyes bleed, and Shakespeare is spinning in his grave like a top. If I were to receive a text like that from a close friend, I’d be inclined to reply: STFU and GTFO.
One of the most popular acronyms that bug me the most is YOLO, which according to Drake is the motto: You Only Live Once.
My feelings on YOLO range from disgust to delight, and the response is largely situational. YOLO is nothing more than a statement of fact, but in social contexts, it’s used to rationalize behavior. This behavior is where I begin to have issues. When the phrase is used as justification for ill-advised behavior, as justification for what one just did. I won’t bore you with examples, but think of events you’d see at stereotypical college parties on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. (If you’re thinking “What about the other days?”, then you’ve probably exemplified this behavior, haven’t you. Haven’t you.)
It’s much less frequent that you hear YOLO by people who are going above-and-beyond what they were planning to do. It’s seldom heard as, “Here’s my mission, the dream I want to accomplish, and I’m going to do it because You Only Live Once.” It’s more common to hear, “I’m going to go make a fool out of myself, because You Only Live Once.”
It shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m much more apt to support the health enhancing behaviors, and that’s what I want you to think about it. Maybe it’s as simple, as “Hey, you only live once, so maybe I should take care of my body and clean up my diet.” Perhaps it’s, “I’ve been sandbagging in the gym, and I need to step it up because you only live once.” It could also be posing for a picture with the sign your 12 year old cousin made you. (Note to self: Don’t tell a 12 year old you want a pink pony for your birthday. She won’t forget, and will get you a unicorn instead.)
You only live once; that’s not a surprise. Don’t use it as an excuse; let it be a wake up call. It can very well be the motto to live by, if you use to to enhance your life, not justify it. Spend your time with awesome people, doing awesome things. Love your family and friends, work hard; eat clean, and train dirty. We make the simple things in life much harder than they need to be. Remember what’s closest to your heart, and strive to improve every single day. Remember, you only live once.
Finally, since I meant to post this on Sunday morning and never finished it: Happy Easter and Passover to my readers that celebrated the holidays! This picture is almost perfectly timed: