I was recently helping a six-year-old read a book. The book was entitled Alive or Not Alive and went through an array of people, animals, and objects, categorizing them as either “Alive” or “Not Alive.” I.E. “The man is alive. The hat is not alive.”

The boy I was working with took one look at the book cover and closed his eyes thoughtfully. “Oh man,” he said. “You gotta live! I mean, you really gotta LIVE!”

I tried my hardest to keep from laughing as we worked through the remainder of the lesson. Later, I shared this humorous moment with a few friends and coworkers.

Slowly, though, what started as a funny moment in my day became a new mantra.

Friend was worried about taking time off? “You gotta live!”

Husband worried about splurging on something he’s been wanting for a long time? “You gotta live!”

I’m worried about spending my Saturday relaxing instead of tackling my to-do list? “Stacey, you gotta live!”

It’s too easy to get caught up in the the day-to-day drama, the stress, the never-ending list of things that could be done. But- living with intention means we have to be deliberate about stepping out of the rat-race every single day, even if just for a moment. It’s an exercise that takes practice. It means learning to swim against the current. It means prioritizing our dreams.

Life is short. It’s even shorter when we forget to live it.