Only One Life to Live – Namsurei Thomas Kamei, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Economics

How do you want to be remembered? Every day we makes memories, we leave behind a history of ourselves. What we make of our self today will tell a story about us after we are long gone. 

Only One Life to Live

History is replete with many great people ranging from various walks of life. They can be sportspersons, singers, soldiers, historians, scientists, statesmen, politicians, actors, humanitarians, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs and from many other fields of life. Some of them are remembered for their spectacular successes, some for their unprecedented attempts and some, even for their monumental blunder. What is common in all of them is the fact that; they leave behind their history which is uncommon, and which is remembered for a long time; if not forever. Common people leave behind history too. The only difference is that their memories are not remembered by many and definitely not for a long time. Great people lived their lives while common people merely existed. Those who want great things in life must have fun while trying to achieve what they desire. 

According to an author, “Here’s what too many in society do: Get up in the morning; Work, thinking inside the lines the entire day; Come home; Watch TV and sleep. It is an altogether unremarkable existence. And, those people probably produce ultimately unremarkable results and lead average lives. Their memories are likely to be remembered for a short period of time. If you wake up in the morning and aren’t inspired every day to throw yourself to your work and life with 100% passion, you’re not living your life fully but  merely existing along. Perhaps they’re in the wrong field or have lost that creative spark.”

In many cases, inspiration may not come easily. Perhaps, we can start by thinking about the kind of memories we want to leave behind.

Different people have different aspirations. Those people who are likely to succeed are mostly the ones who live their lives with zeal. And these types of people have certain  common characteristics. Though it is not possible to make a complete list of all the characteristics, but by studying the life of well-known people; past and present, observing people in our daily life and learning about people in our own society, a comprehensive list of things that these people follow are given below.

Desire to achieve in life:No doubt people have wants in their lives and they go the extra mile to get it. Sometimes they can be obsessive about what they want. It is fine to be obsessive about what one wants because there is only a thin line between a genius and a lunatic. Moreover, you find means to get what you want no matter what.

Thinking minds:People who are inquisitive are likely to have a fuller life. Their minds are always at work making their  minds more sharp . Such people  are likely to achieve more than an average mind.

Connecting  with people:Engaging with people who you admire or respect or look up to will fine-tune you to be the person you want to be. However, being in the midst of people who give you false praises will distort you. With personality distortion, you will never be what you really want to become in life.

Competitive and ambitious:  The moment your ambition and competitive spirit are gone, you are likely to be where you are and achieve mediocre results. Being competitive with oneself and with others gives an opportunity to step up to the occasion. People who are likely to live fuller lives, find opportunities to refine themselves and are always competitive and ambitious.

Completing things: People set goals but only a few achieve them. One of the characteristics of successful people is they finish the things they started. It can be as simple as a word puzzle or reading a simple book. They will find ways to finish it.

Never stop learning: It is said that knowledge is endless. No one can acquire all the knowledge. At best, to live a fuller life, we can never stop learning. Changes take place constantly and it is probably impossible to keep track of all of them, but always trying to keep up with change  gives us the confidence to live and not merely exist.

Building trust:Relationships are built on trust. People, who have the trust of others, be it their bosses, their friends, colleagues or any acquaintance have more chances of succeeding and moving ahead in their life. However, building up trust can take time. Some say that it is an art. And, those who know this art are likely to live a fuller life.

It should be noted that people with the above-listed characteristics will not, all the time have a meaningful life and leave behind memories which will be remembered for a long time to come. It will not be possible for a single person to possess all the characteristics. However, the more the characteristics, a person has; the more likely he/she will live an impactful life. Recently, I lost a close relative. How he lived his short life (35 years) was known only by the number of attendees at his funeral. In my opinion, he possessed at least 4-5 characteristics mentioned above. He was passionate, eager to learn, mingled with people he wanted to be, never procrastinated and was always obsessive of what he wanted in life. This had me thinking; he left so many fond memories not only for the family but also for many others he came across in life. He lived his life.

We have only one life to live. So, let us  not waste our time but live our life in a way to leave fond memories behind.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru, Vikono Krose and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email:

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