How to Fit the Finitude of Your Life into Infinitude of Possibilities?

Select a few worthwhile goals and let others come and go. Everything seems important. Accepting our finite life results in choosing what to focus on.


Ryszard Śpiewak

2 years ago | 6 min read

Select a few worthwhile goals and let others go

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I was a time bomb.

I was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Everything seemed to be the most important. Everything needed my time.

My life was happening to me. I was a puppet of my brain’s drive always to have a problem.

I was always looking for a solution. I’ve never questioned the existence of the problem. I just assumed that everything was necessary and that I must do everything now.

Imagine the joyful life I’ve led. The fun part is that I did all of that to myself. Nothing external was wrong, but my mastery level in bringing myself down worked flawlessly.

But there is an idea that helped me limit those thoughts about always wanting more. The idea of having a finite life and internalizing that idea to my core.

Knowing you’ll die proves that there is no way you’ll do everything, visit every place, learn every language. The reality of your life enforces choosing and deciding.

Doing something is a step you must take, no matter how you feel about it

Many times you hear that learning without using knowledge is pointless.

I’d go further, your life is pointless until you act out your dreams, plans, and needs.

Imagine the meaning of life as a dynamic variable that increases whenever you do things satisfying to you. It decreases every time you resign from doing the right thing.

Careful planning or thinking about what you want to do is never a substitute for action. Everything you planned is worthless until execution.

Using the knowledge you read is crucial.

There are so many articles about getting better that you won’t be able to read them all. And all of them suffer from the same illness — repetition. It may be useful to surround yourself with ideas to let them influence you. But there is a limit to that. If you feel you’re not getting anything from reading, it’s time.

It’s time to take action.

Use what you’ve learned from others. You already know how to form habits, form a new habit. You already know how to set goals and create systems. What is one thing that you’d like to accomplish the most?

Taking action is a remedy for stagnation.

I know that because I was a passive reader for most of my life. I read so much, yet I just sat down with the bottle and drank, considering how my life went to shit. Until I took action on what I’d learned, I was still spiraling down. When I understood that people could control their reactions, it didn’t help me control mine.

The practice helped me in controlling my reactions.

So, becoming a doer was a turning point in my life. I can try whatever I want. I still hesitate and fear what people would think, but that doesn’t stop me. I act out the most important dreams I’ve had, and maybe I’ll have other dreams soon.

Do what you must to get what you want.

Find out what you want. Plan your activities accordingly. Execute ruthlessly. Move towards your goals and eliminate the anxiety by using it to do what you must do.

Embrace your finite nature to become calmer

You can’t do everything simply because you’ll die soon.

This thought, hard to accept for many, is the key to living the life you want. You can’t do everything at once. You need time. And the most satisfying things in life require a lot of time.

To get anything from death, you must accept it before dying.

You must understand that your life is finite, so you won’t be able to accomplish everything. I’d go further and say that achieving everything would be boring. Think about it. You can do everything, how would you choose something?

We can do anything, but not everything.

You can choose a goal and pursue it. Do whatever it requires, but you can’t pursue every possible dream because there is an infinite number of them — what a pickle.

True freedom is dropping the illusion of ever doing everything and accepting the opposite. You can enjoy the activity you’re currently performing. It’s beautiful that you must focus on it, and nothing else gets done simultaneously.

I tend to become too orderly. My schedule gets tight. I want more done, written, and read. Everything wants my attention.

When I started working on myself, I had to do everything in the proper order. I was learning math, algorithms, physics, and four languages. I worked full time, and I was working on my side programming projects.

I did that because I was lying to myself that it’s possible to learn everything. But spending 15 minutes on a physics task is usually not enough. Learning four languages slows down progress. My day was full of context switching and stress about not doing enough.

The more I did, the more I wanted. But my overall progress was smaller than I’d assume.

I was burning out, and from my current perspective, I got addicted to productivity.

I was lying to myself that I can do everything, that I’m just not productive enough and can be if I work more.

But the truth is different.

We can never do everything.

Precisely because of that, we feel that some matters are so important that they penetrate our souls. Focusing on them is how we can accept our finitude without feeling a loss.

It’s more beneficial to start and finish one project than to start multiple and finish none

We all have the freedom to choose what we’ll do.

It’s not so important what you will choose. The important part is choosing that one thing and following it. Sticking to it unlocks mastery. Mastering is required to understand when you can disobey the rules.

You have to earn knowledge about when you can follow the rules and when you can break them.

When you learn this once, you’ll see that the same rule applies in every aspect of your life. Until you’re a master in something, it’s better to follow the rules. You don’t know when it’s beneficial to break them.

Later, you become an embodiment of the rule, and then in the spirit of the rule, you can break it.

Insights like this one came with time and practice. You need to sacrifice a lot to experience it. Therefore it’s crucial to develop yourself in one matter first to maximize your progress.

No one forces you to do one thing your whole life.

Start with one, end with many.

The more projects you do simultaneously, the slower you progress in each of them. Your chance of finishing any is lower than if you’d focus on one.

Having the one, the most important one, makes your life directed.

Everything aligns and becomes your goal if you have one project. Your life starts to look like a path to success. You meet people who are thinking about similar things. The universe is helping you.

Get to the point where your work bears fruits. Once you’ve experienced how amazing it was getting what you wanted in a way you planned, you won’t stop. You’ll use the same framework for another project.


Taking action is crucial in getting where you want to get.

You can never underestimate the importance of doing. Without it, you can’t manifest your thoughts. It’s a necessary condition you have to meet. It gets even more important whenever you don’t feel like doing what you should.

Right then is the moment when you have to do it.

We tend to lie to ourselves that we can become so effective and productive that we’ll do everything we have on our to-do lists. How could we, if our lives are finite when the stream of events is not? Life never stops manifesting in a list of critical tasks to do.

Understanding there is no way of finishing everything and accepting this will bring you peace. Do your best to focus on the matters most important to you.

Thanks to finishing a long-term project, you get immeasurable benefits. If you continue working on one matter, you become a master and discover you can bend the rules. You can repeat the process whenever you want in your next journey.

It boils down to accepting your nature as a finite being.

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Ryszard Śpiewak

Get short, actionable ideas for improving your life battle-tested by me, the former alcoholic and nihilist. Now, happily reunited with the Universe. Join me.







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