Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会, literally “one time, one meeting”) is a Japanese term that describes a cultural concept often linked with famed tea master Sen no Rikyu. The term is often translated as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.”

This Zen Buddhist saying was adapted by Samurai culture: you cannot get any moments back. The lesson being that you should make them all count. It’s a good lesson. One encounter with their enemy, one opportunity to make a strike. The outcome of that one action can determine the fate of his life. It’s quite a beautiful saying. Similar is Japanese style painting, who take one swift brush stroke. The mark they make is forever embedded on the paper.

This is by far one of my favorite sayings ever, and I try my best to live my life this way.

I’m not a “regrets” kind of person. Of course I regret things. I think anyone who says they don’t regret anything is lying to everything, especially themselves. That said, I have accepted my mistakes and missed opportunities in the past. Those marks have been made.

Now we have to make the most of it. We cannot change what has already passed through time, but we can make more marks on the paper to take a mistake and turn it into something beautiful.

I live my life very fast. I cannot wait, and I cannot hesitate. One hesitation can be the difference between a life changing experience and a missed opportunity.

One encounter. One opportunity.