Needless to say, there are a lot of videos on YouTube.

It’s estimated that YouTube users watch approximately 6 billion hours of video per month. (Can you imagine how many working hours are lost to the site every year? Boggles the mind…)

Surely, the majority of these videos feature cats doing silly things. But there are some gems among them as well:

If you watch this video — and I mean really watch it — hopefully you’ll begin to understand the hyperbolic title of this article.

I stand by it, however, because this is my all-time favourite video on YouTube, and what I believe to be the most powerful, enlightening, and exciting video on the internet.

Aside from the fact that it’s just gorgeous to look at and listen to — the music, the cinematography — the message behind it is incredibly powerful…

What do you mean and why should I care?

A fair question. What is the narrator going on about in this video?

There’s a LOT going on here. One could spend the rest of his or her life in contemplation of the ideas Alan Watts presents in the video. But there’s one idea in particular that resonates with me above all the others…

He’s talking about how it’s all going to fade.

Our plans, our successes, our failures, our relationships, our triumphs, our adventures, our lives. Everything. In the end, it will all return from whence it came. Meaning, of course, that everything will eventually fade to black. Nothing.

A year ago I wrote about one of my favourite Paul Simon songs, with one of my favourite lyrics:

I never worry; why should I? It’s all gonna fade…

When you start to think about this you realize how little time you actually have left, and how incredibly precious each and every moment is.

You start to realize how retroactive jealousy is wasting your time, and relationship, and you recognize the urgent need to get over it.

Because the clock is ticking, always. And each and every moment of our lives is one which we will never get back. There are no “do-overs” when it comes to life, so we’d better make the absolute best possible use of it starting now.

But if it’s all going to “turn to dust” in the end anyway, what’s the point?

In my guidebook I write about how we must learn to do things “for the doing” itself, rather than do them because we are expecting a definite, finite outcome:

Letting go of expectations does not mean living a life void of intention. In fact, making decisions and setting intentions is one of the most powerful things we can do as humans, and is absolutely essential to the task of overcoming retroactive jealousy.

We may set intentions and work toward them, but the outcome is out of our control. We must make choices to do things simply for the doing — not because we are expecting a certain outcome.

Our species has a major advantage in that we know, without any doubt, that one day we will die, and that all of our efforts and achievements will turn to dust. How will you choose to spend the rest of your time? Endlessly clinging to the illusion of your ego and “the way things ought to be?” Seeking a reassurance that will never come? Attempting to assert control over the chaotic, illogical and uncontrollable phenomenon that is love?

This is delusional living, and it is a complete and utter waste of time.

A happy life is one lived without expectations. For one who lives without expectations is open to endless possibilities.

There is real freedom in accepting that it’s all going to turn to nothing in the end. Once you do, the world suddenly seems much more open, full of wonder and endless possibilities.

You also start to let go of the expectations of others, and start living truer to yourself.

You start to prioritize joy. And you realize that your ride around the sun will NOT go on forever, and that you need to start having the best possible time which you’re capable of starting now.

These realizations were a major reason why I worked so hard in creating the course and community. I want to help people have the best possible life they are capable of starting today. I want to help people experience cosmic, infinite joy in their lives not tomorrow, not next month, but right now. Today. I want to help people experience the peace, joy, and freedom from retroactive jealousy which I’ve found.

Because I HATE wasting time.

And I hate seeing others waste time, struggling indefinitely with retroactive jealousy. I hate watching them waste days, weeks, or months of their lives in jealous torment, plagued by painful thoughts and mental images. It’s pure hell, I know.

But thankfully, I also know that there’s a way out. You don’t have to suffer from retroactive jealousy for a second longer. You don’t have to figure out how to overcome it all by yourself. And you don’t have to waste another moment of your life struggling with jealous thoughts and mental images. The clock is ticking, always. So make the most of the time you have left starting right now.

(P.S. Alan Watts is the man. Yes, if you’ve been following the site for a while and read my book you might be aware of my obsession with him and his work. Truly one of the great thinkers, and most captivating speakers of the past century. If you’re curious and brand new to his work, start plowing through his “Out of Your Mind” lecture series. Well worth your while, especially if you suffer from retroactive jealousy.)

(P.P.S. Bonus video below…)


Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, The Sun, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.