How Long Is Long Enough?

Posted By on Mar 29, 2015 | 7 comments

I’m afraid of dying.

History would suggest that most people are. Down through the ages, mankind has constantly searched for the source of immortality. Legends, myths, and tall tales of supernatural sources that can maintain vitality have existed since the beginning of time.

One of the most famous instances was the search for the fountain of youth. Ponce de Leon spent a good deal of his life trying to find it. He scoured the earth, chased down every lead, every clue, desperately hunting for the source of immortality.

Recently, a personal hero of mine passed away.

Sam Simon was one of the co-creators of the television series, The Simpsons. I’ve been a fan of that show since it came out and while I don’t watch it as regularly as I used to say, fifteen years ago, it’s still good to know it’s there when I need it.

Sam was an innovator, a thinker, a comic genius. Like me, he loved animals and did all he could to save as many as possible.

His battle with colon cancer was well documented, right up until the end.

Sam was 58.

Many people say that he was too young. That is usually one of the first things someone says when a person under the age of a hundred dies. “They were so young.”

I recall reading a passage in the Christian Bible once about Israel’s king, David. He had become very ill and was on death’s door. In the story, he begged God for ten more years of life. He was granted his request, and began to heal. David lived that ten extra years.

When I consider all of these things at once, it brings a simple yet undeniably complicated question to my mind. How long is long enough?

While King David got his extra decade of life, in the end, he still died. What did he accomplish in those ten years? If asked the question, any of us would say we’d like ten more years. I’d like a thousand more years. There’s so much I want to see and do.

Without the fountain of youth, it will all come to an end, though. Without a source of immortality, we will all arrive at the same destination.

What that brings us to is the point of this little blog post.

It would be cliche to say, “Live for today! Make the most of the moment! Don’t take anything for granted!”

All that’s been said before. After all, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us.

Instead I will say this: Live.

Stop stressing yourself out about what may come tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now. Enjoy your hobbies. Make your dreams happen. Live and work like you may not wake in the morning.

People ask me how I am able to write books so quickly while (at the time of writing this) I have a full time job.

I tell them that I make use of every possible second I can in the day. I wake up earlier than I have to so I can get in an extra hour of writing. I write first thing when I get home. But I don’t just work hard on writing books.

When one of my cats comes and sits on my lap, I put the laptop away and pet them because spending time with the people and animals I love is more important than writing a novel. And even though I’m not being professionally productive, I’m nurturing another vital part of my being.

Take these thoughts for what they are. Maybe they’re just the ramblings of a guy with too much time on his hands on a Sunday morning.

Personally, when my time on Earth comes to an end, I want to make sure that I don’t need any more. I want people to say that I used up every second in the best possible way I could. I want to create as much, have as much fun, impact as many people, and love as much as possible.

I believe Sam Simon did that. I intend to do the same.

What about you?



  1. Inspiring, as usual, Ernie! Thanks for reminding me that the recipe for productivity is hidden behind that little voice that says “Get up and DO something!!”
    Love the new website; looking forward to the new book. I swear – you write ’em faster than I can read ’em!


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    • Thanks so much for the kind words. Glad you like the new look! I read so slow sometimes I wonder if I write faster than I read. Ha!

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  2. Since adopting a similar take on life-after reading up on Buddhist principles-I have become a happier, less anxious and more fulfilled person. I realize that death isn’t that scary as we all go back to what we came from, the Universe, and the cycle continues over and over…in my humble opinion.

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  3. Just read The lost canvas, loved it!
    My first Earnest Dempsey
    Looking forward to reading more of his books

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  4. I have helped care for five older relatives, so far; it is eye-opening. I think I would like to go when I have wrung the last bit of zest from life. I think fear of death is quite natural, but you make a good point about being too afraid of it.

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  5. You recently asked about favourite authors, like you I enjoy most of the names you mentioned, also Scott Marianni, Preston and Child, Alex Conner to name but a few and my most recent favourite Ernest Dempsey.

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  6. I just finished The Jerusalem Creed, I Loved it!

    I like archeology myself, I like researching ancient civilizations, different cultures, and of course ancient articfacts, how about a book about the 13 Crystal Skulls?
    Just a thought…

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