You only live once . . . so do it right.


The acronym YOLO, standing for You Only Live Once, became a widespread phenomenon a couple of years ago that appeared on clothing and social media hashtags. It has been a notorious saying ever since. The more I think about it, the more I realize how special of a meaning it has.

Today’s culture tends to use these four letters as an excuse for going out, making mistakes, experimenting, blowing off responsibilities, and having fun. Such a mindset is not completely unsophisticated—you only live once, so don’t sweat the stupid mistakes. We all make them and learn to learn from them. These words certainly ring true in applying to the idea of not missing out and living up your years of being young. However, the meaning of YOLO goes so much deeper than that. There’s so much more to consider.

YOLO shouldn’t only make you think about having no regrets, about going out and doing things you shouldn’t, but it should make you think about living a meaningful life. It should mean taking the time to make a difference, do good things, and impact people’s lives. You only live once, so you should use that as a reason to use your one life as a chance to make a positive impact. Whether it’s making history or doing one good deed a day or touching a few lives, no act is too small or goes unnoticed. You have one chance to live, so make it mean something.

YOLO should make you feel inclined to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, go to the gym, practice mindfulness, meditate, get enough sleep, and do good things for your body because it is everything you have. You would not have this one chance to live without it. Make your health a priority and recognize the importance of maintaining that, because you only live once, and you should aim to make that one life last as long as possible, while giving life back to what gives you yours.

YOLO should mean be happy because life is too short to spend time being otherwise. Practice forgiveness and surround yourself with positivity. Don't let the petty things get to you, allow negative people into your life, sweat the small stuff, think about things that bring you down, or let yourself get caught up in fights. Make the most of everything life hands to you. You are in charge of your own state of mind. You have one life to live, so you may as well do your best to make damn sure it's a happy one.

YOLO should remind you to be grateful. Chances are that if you’re able to be reading this right now, things are not as bad as you think. Don’t let a day go by without realizing how lucky you are to have the people, opportunities, and health you have in your life. This life only comes once, and you ought to appreciate all the components yours is comprised of.

YOLO, so have fun! Do extraordinary things, the things you want to do, and don’t take life too seriously. Have experiences that will make good stories and don’t hold back. Take advantage of the opportunities life throws at you and enjoy them. Try scuba diving, bungee jumping, or anything else that interests you. You’ve only got one chance to live this life, so enjoy it and live it to the fullest!

You only live once. There’s so much rich, deep meaning behind these words, and our culture can do so much better in advertising them in more positive approach. This life will come one time only... don’t forget it. Take advantage of everything that comes your way. Live a meaningful life, take care of yourself, find your happiness, be grateful, have fun, and no regrets because #YOLO.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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