46 thoughts on “The Importance of Living Life”

  1. Well said, Om.

    Staying grounded in what’s amazing about right now is important and challenging, especially when a big part of what makes our work so engaging is excitement and optimism about the future. There’s richness in both, the trick is creating a balance — to savor today and look forward to the future, in appropriate measure.

    1. JB it is much harder to do in reality – finding that balance. I have often struggled with one or the other. I think in the end the sooner we find this balance, the better it is.

      1. Disclaimer: I swear I am not some crazy hippie!

        One thing that’s helped me is thinking of the finding of the balance as a practice, rather than a finite solution. To be looking for it at all means your tending to its creation.

        It’s so VERY easy to get distracted, whether it’s because you’re so consumed with the day-to-day or you’re future-tripping has creeped upwards and whoops, suddenly it’s eating up 99% of your headspace. It’s also easy to get frustrated, since we’re usually failing, at least a little, which makes it tempting to give up trying at all.

        Maybe we’ll never find the perfect balance, but we can enjoy and appreciate being mindful of trying to get there? I guess I do sound like a crazy hippie, huh?


    Fantastic post and thanks for putting things in perspective. We, especially readers of Gigaom, startup-types, Silicon Valley types etc. frequently forget the most important things in life. Thank you for reminding us that living life and appreciating the little things is far more important than obsessing about work.

  3. I am in bed holding my one-week old son, Ryan and appreciated this post very much. I wanted to get to both of these events but life intervened. Om, everyone I meet who knows you (one of Om’s best friends was in the hospital having a baby while we were there) always speaks so highly of you. Thanks for being a good role model and let’s get together soon. How about this week?

    1. Robert, only if you promise to bring the photos of RSS. 🙂

      Seriously, we could meet Tuesday or any other day.

      And thank you for your kind words. Sentiments are mutual. I look forward to seeing you,


  4. Thanks for the beautiful post and perspective. We often don’t take time to smell the roses and to appreciate all of the special people in our lives. Feeling very lucky and blessed to have you as a friend.

  5. Om, so glad I came across this post. What a great reminder to just LIVE and LOVE free of judgement. I’m a huge fan of House. What a great episode/message on “freedom” and what that means. I think when we accept others, we accept ourselves and live free(r) from our own self-imposed barriers. A tweet I posted an hour ago: Take a moment, breathe in, open your heart & feel all the love that comes from that place. Exhale breaths of love today.
    thanks again for your thoughtful post.

      1. life is a game. (hint: it cheats) You can try to win. But either way, your always going to loose the battle.

        The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
        ~Mark Twain

  6. My brother died last year. He requested no funeral, but his visitation was over two days. On the first day, one couple we know had to leave because they were also going to a baby shower. On the second day, another couple who were present gave birth several hours later. I didn’t know it at the time, but the wife was in labour when she came to pay her last respects.

    These two events brought a deeper meaning to that day that I have a difficult time expressing. Thank you very much for writing this.

  7. I grew up with my mother telling me to live every day as though it were your last, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I have tried to live up to that, but your notion of life being like a novel seems more gentle. Thank you for sharing this concept. It embodies what I would like my 4 year old to learn about life.

    I, too, watched House this week and after it ended discussed the “failures are forever” line with a friend. I definitely overlook my moments of success and focus on things I could have done better. While a bit of this IS healthy and gives me opportunity to grow, I need to work on forgiving myself. I know I am not unique here.

    Sometimes you read a something that puts life into perspective. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  8. Inspiring, and very thoughtful. Not only is the message moving but the writing skills are supreme. Love reading the posts because they have both – beauty and brawn! Fantastic writing Om!

  9. I learned this decades ago from a racing car driver. Back in the day – before Armco fence and carbon fibre bathtubs and modern helmets.

    No less worthwhile in today’s world. I’ve outlived my parents’ generation as expected and pretty much all of my own – plus some of those who followed.

    I have a few old regrets I have trouble forgetting occasionally; but, getting them out in the air with someone you love and trust really does help. Got rid of a couple like that.

    Pleased as punch to see it’s still working well for you. Om.


  10. The minister at my old UU church in NYC, Forrest Church, passed away this week. Below is an excerpt from the last letter he wrote to the congregation, less than a month before his death:

    Death may approach silently on tiny cats’ paws or sweep our loved ones (or us) away like a thief in the night. Hence, with our loved ones especially, we should never squander the opportunity when signing a letter, before setting the phone back in its cradle, or, from the kitchen or bedroom before the front door slams shut, of writing, speaking or shouting out, “I love you.”

    I love you.

    F.F.C. (RIP)

  11. Wish I could take the day off, Om. But I’m busy working at my business. People want Internet and I’ll provide it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It’d be a lot easier to do this if I hadn’t lost all of my investors due to the threat of Internet regulation (which you and your editorial staff have been advocating on this site).

  12. Wonderfully written, and aspired to inspired. What a talent of unique thoughts of good life and bad. Will someone be able to sort out all the goodness of life, leaving the all the unwanted pains of life? How skillful one can be to bring about the ‘corona’ of life in to the arena of life! Practice goodness immeasurably.

    Warm Regards
    Sardar Saeed Malik
    September 27, 2009

  13. Beautiful sentiments, Om my friend. You and I have discussed the importance of living life more than once, and I’m glad to see you are doing so. The important things in life are not things, they are the people in our lives and how much they mean to us. Only we can show these people how much we care about them, and we must do so. It’s not good enough to think that they already know. Tell them and show them. Spend quality time with those who care.

  14. I am glad you are in good health and long may that continue, Mr Malik.

    BTW I got here when @PKedrosky tweeted this gem: Some days I want to have @om ‘s babies, tweetaphorically apeaking http://om.bit.ly/CAEd7

    As they say love and laughter are the two pillars of life! Happy Vijayadashmi!

  15. Beautiful Om. You always bring out the best in people. All the comments here are a typical example of the impact you have on all of us. I particularly liked Patrick’s comment, and your quote from House. This helps to put aside a fear of failure and do the very best we can with what time we have…

    I also lost a couple of phenomenal friends these last couple of years. Each of them in their early 30s. Each of them loved and respected by every single person they met. I now use their beautiful but strong personalities as inspiration to make them proud. To approach everything with a smile, good or bad. Overall I love how you bring us all together and inspire us. When we are all lost in the cloud, hacking away at our social media streams – your sentiments (along with something Calacanis said in one of his emails) have helped keep my feet on the ground. Thank you.

    Jai Sri Om.

  16. For every reminder the universe serves up on the fraility and incredible beauty of life–like this post, or a dear 34-year old friend battling aggressive thyroid cancer who happens to be one of the funniest gals I hang out with, or my daughter’s uncontained excitement at her first lemonade stand this summer–I can only say Thank You. Be well and live well!

  17. This post is wonderful tribute to your friend. I keep coming back to these two sentences:
    If one event bookended the start of the journey, then the other simply highlighted the destination. And in the process it taught me that it is how we live that is really important.

    Really well said Om.

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