Live like you were dying. I can still hear the silky voice of Tim McGraw belting out this 2004 hit. I instantly gravitated towards this song as it seemed to send a message that I had resonated with my whole life. From a young age, I remember being fascinated with the amazing and grand gift that life is. I can remember thinking that I did not want to waste my life and would regularly sit and plan how I could make the best of what I was given.
Fast forward a decade and a half and it feels like life has flown by. Does it feel the same for you? The addition of two kids, going to college, and moving several times will do that to you. In fact, a more appropriate motto for my last few years might be something like “live like your surviving!”
The thing is, we all have things that distract us from living our best life. We can tell ourselves that things will get better next week or month or year but what are the chances of that happening. Slim to none I’d say unless you make some changes.
For starters, It would be nice if you actually knew what living like you were dying looked like for you, wouldn’t it? After all, how can you expect to live your best life if you can’t even describe it?
To help get you on the right track I’ll leave you with an exercise from the late Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
Imagine that you are on your way to a funeral. As you enter you take notice of the flowers, the other attendees and the overall mood of the space. You make your way up to the casket and are startled to see your own body inside. The program features speeches from 4 groups of people. Your family, friends, co-workers, and those whom you have volunteered with. Imagine what it is that each of those groups would say about you.
Is what you think they would say what you hope they would say?
What are some aspects of who you are would you change if you knew death was imminent?
What aspects of yourself can you say with confidence are in line with who you want to be?
Life comes at us fast. It is up to us to create the life that we want. One that we can be proud of. There are a million valid excuses for you to not live your best life. In the end, they are just that, excuses. If you are struggling to reach your goals and expectations for yourself don’t waste another second. Start today. Make a small change. If that seems too hard or out of reach, then ask for help. Life is not meant to be lived alone. Know that we are all in the same boat.