African American Quotes: Life’s Too Short

I’m actually not sure who said this, but it’s still a wonderful quote.

Life’s too short and tomorrow is not a guarantee. Do what makes you happy, be with those that make you smile, and love life to the fullest…


If you know the author, let me know, so I can give credit.

Life is too short

I know everyone isn’t like me. It typically takes me less than 24 hours to make a major decision, once I have the information I need. I might not have all the details worked out, but when I want something, I go for it.

Why? I know tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

A couple of years ago, I was in my boss’s office and coughed. It was like an explosion in my head. Strokes run in my family, so the first question I asked was, is my face lopsided. The left side of my face grew numb. After a scan, they found out that I blood clot in my brain.

By the second day, I started loosing the hearing in my left ear. I didn’t want to move, because even the smallest movement was agony. As my hearing faded, I started to rationalize… think through what I could give up and still find happiness. All my hearing, my eye sight, paralysis. What was my limit?

I knew when I was plotting what I could live without, I really had no control over what my body was going through at the time. Even now, as I write this, I cry. It takes me back to a moment where I was at the mercy of my body. It was a really tough time for me.

As I thought through the situation, I realized that I could live without a lot. All I wanted was my mind and the sight of one eye (not that I had a choice of what I’d lose). I started planning my life for “what if…” What could I do? How could I make life livable, if I loss so much?

renee-with-flowersI really started to reflect on my values, while I waited to see what my body would spring on me next. What was the most important thing to me in life? Learning. Learning makes my heart sing. I whittled down my bare minimal needs to things that allowed me to continue learning: My mind and the capability to absorb the information. To me, capability meant the hearing of one ear, the sight of one eye, or even the ability to move a hand to read something like braille.

I spent a week in the hospital recovering from the debilitating affects of the blood clot. My hearing started to return after a few days. My last brain scan showed the scar from the blood clot still there. So, I guess it’s mine to keep. I still wonder if every headache or odd pang in my body is a new clot, but that’s life.

Other than finding my limits and values, I realized another thing. Life is too short to be miserable. I thought about how short my life might be, considering my risk for future blood clots, and decided I didn’t want to waste it on things that made me unhappy.

I started saying no to things I didn’t want to do. I started giving myself permission to do things that personally made me happy when it benefits no one but me. And most importantly, I’ve learned to do it without guilt.

Lack of work-life balance is one of the top challenges women tell me they have. They each come with different stories, but when we dig deep, we find it’s caused by a disconnect between their values and how they’re living their lives. Today, I challenge you to consider:


  • What do you truly value in life?
  • What are the things you’re doing to go against your values?