“Live each day as if it were your last. One day you’ll be right.”
A few days ago, while on our spring break, the Zen Papa and I were trying to make a decision. Should we take a helicopter ride around Sedona Arizona. We considered not doing it because of the expense. Plus it was late and we needed to leave town. We’d be back to Sedona again. We could take that ride another day. But in the back of my mind. I heard my neighbor Lori, encouraging us to go.
Who is Lori? She was our neighbor for 15 years. She recently died. She got cancer at Christmas time 2010 and was gone by the following Christmas. She was only 62 years old. Lori didn’t think she was going to die. In fact she was planning on taking up cooking as a hobby and had just ordered all sorts of pots and pans online while staying in the hospital. For a whole year, her husband keep Christmas lights on a little pine tree in their backyard and vowed not to take them off the tree until Lori came home. We looked at it everyday and promised ourselves that we would not put off the things we wanted to do until later.
She’s has made me think about when I’m in my last days taking a look back on life. What a wonderful exercise to help you figure out how life should be lived! It’s a way of living life in reverse and having no regrets.
If you imagine life as an old woman or man, you could understand so much. Why the bad things happened to you. What you really wanted out of life. It’s kind of like asking yourself the questions, if you were at the end of your life what you would like people to say about you? If you are 50 now and you’re going to live to 80, you only have more 30 years? What will you do with that time?
If I could look back from a ripe old age, I will have:
1. Traveled the world, appreciated different cultures and landscapes
2. Not been fearful and followed my passions and been creative! I need to get out of the box and experience life!
3. Been healthy and in good shape
4. Mental Clarity and be able to find my keys!
5. Be positive!
6. Helped people – people I know and people I don’t know
7. The most important thing… I will have loved the family and friends in my life – really gotten to know them and let them know me. Having great relationships is the thing you’ll think about most at the end of your life. I will have shown my children that they are totally and unconditionally loved.
You can’t live life in reverse. You don’t know if you’ll live a long life. You need to TRUST that everything is happening or not happening the way it’s supposed to. You need to start doing what you want to with the rest of your life!
I love this from Steve Job’s commencement speech to Stanford:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘NO’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment of failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the rap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
We did took the helicopter ride with our youngest son and his friend. I listened to my intuition of my neighbor Lori sending me a message. We surprised the boys who were thrilled and so were we! After 20 years of seeing Sedona from ground level, we saw the town in a new perspective.
We saw life from a different perspective, too.
“Make today your masterpiece.” – John Wooden