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YOLO | #MyFridayStory No. 60

YOLO | #MyFridayStory No. 60

‘You only live once.’

‘Forever and Always, Your YOLO Sister!’

This is what my daughter’s best friend wrote on her chalkboard bedroom wall. YOLO is also my daughter’s mantra. And her friends all embrace the concept with glee. It could be that it is age-appropriate for millennials, as the ‘instant’ generation. Or, is it that we are in 2018, a day and age that demands we squeeze as much into our lives, so that we don’t miss out on anything? The acronym for that is FOMO – the fear of missing out!

The YOLO acronym was officially included in the Oxford dictionary in 2016. Although the phrase, ‘You only live once’ has been around for decades, the acronym gained popularity in 2011 after it was used in the song, ‘The Motto’, by rapper Drake. It became a social media staple hashtag, spurring on its wider use and appeal. #YOLO was used in almost any context.

‘Great Session at the Gym! #YOLO.’

‘Biggest Ice Cream Cone Ever! #YOLO.’

‘Skipped Economics Class! #YOLO.’

YOLO can be used as a verb: ‘I’m YOLO-ing at the concert tonight!’ or, ‘Did you YOLO and go to the concert?’ It can be used as an adjective, ‘Adam Levine is such a YOLO stud!’ or, ‘That was a YOLO concert.’ And, as a noun, ‘The stadium is YOLO!

The negative connotations to YOLO are many. Do risky things, take chances or push the boundaries. Or worse, do what is easy and fun rather than what takes hard work and diligence. But to me, I don’t see it like that. I see it like my daughter and her friends see it. It’s a call to action. To be conscious of our own mortality, to value and make the most of every day.

YOLO is a mindset. When you aim to get the most out of every situation, no matter how trivial or small, you start to see things in a different light. There is merit in taking delight in the things in your life that you sometimes take for granted. When you wake up in the morning grateful for having a bed and a good night’s rest – YOLO. Being blessed with a hot shower and a bowl of cereal for breakfast – YOLO. The job you have, a family that loves and cares for you, and friends that lift your spirits when you are down – all YOLO.

My daughter will use YOLO when I am hesitant to do something she has suggested that is fun and exciting. ‘Come on Dad, let’s YOLO! she will say. Without fail, having a YOLO mindset has given us many special moments and memories, ones we will enjoy for years to come.

‘You only live once,’ as a motto, is about being ‘in the moment,’ with a grateful heart. Give it a whirl, try saying, ‘YOLO’ for the abundant blessings in your life. Pretty soon, you too will be looking for reasons to YOLO.

When last did you do something that was YOLO?

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