Live Like You Were Dying

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Live Like You Were Dying

Imagine that the doctor gave you a year to live. What would you do with the time you had left? Don’t wait for your life to be near its end before you decide to live.

Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. ~James Dean

One of my favourite bloggers Yogasavy  brought to my attention a blog post by Max Storm Feeling Stuck? What If You Had a Year to Live? . He says that “If you feel stuck in your life, or at a crossroads, or bogged down in procrastination, one of the most powerful and rapid exercises I have come across is the “Year to Live” exercise”.

On a similar line, a while back I wrote an article My Journey of Discovery where I tell you about writing your Eulogy. By beginning with the end in mind, visualising how you want to be remembered will set you on the path to your life of purpose, fulfilment, and happiness.

If you knew from today that you had one year to live then what would you do? I’m not suggesting you quit your job, stop paying your bills, or give up on life, but rather to look at the areas of your life that matter most to you. You will decide to make more of every minute you have left, to appreciate and enjoy the people and activities that make your life worth living.

For the next 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours, 31,536,000 seconds you would make sure you did everything that you wanted to, making sure you missed out on nothing in this the last year you have left.

So with the perspective that you are near the end of your life you need to reflect upon the life they you have so far led. You’ll begin to see different times of your life. You may see visions of you working hard and trying your best to provide for your family. In many ways you may have had a good life. Yet, maybe certain things haunt you. You wish you had taken more time to do things you never had time for. Looking at your balance sheet of life, there are areas that you haven’t put enough time into. Well it’s not to late. You have a year to make everything happy. What is it you want to do?

If you really want to live the best life you can, now you’re going to live like a dying man. People who know they are dying live more deliberately, laugh more joyously, celebrate more happily, give more generously, serve more freely, love more intensely. What a fantastic way this would be to live. Is this better than the way you live right now?

You see, living like you were dying is the most freeing way to live. You are free to stop chasing after all the things that don’t matter… you are free to stop living for the approval of others… you are free to do the things you want to do. So now you must get clear about your priorities for your life.

Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment–the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is. – Jorge Luis Borges

If this were my last day on earth, would I:

Be happy with how I’ve spent my time in my last year?

Feel good about the priorities I’ve focused on in this last year of my life?

Feel complete and at peace with the people who matter most?

By taking a break from the non-stop action of life to consider your life in perspective, you give yourself a chance to readjust your priorities.

Ask yourself some more questions

What change do I need to make to feel happier and more alive?

What issue do I need to address that I keep avoiding?

What do I need to let go of completely?

Who do I need to reconnect with?

Get your life into order so you spend time each week working toward things that are important to you. Live each day as if it were your last. Let today be the day that you allow yourself to pause to think about life, and what would make your ideal life. Deep within you is the desire to live an ideal life. Again, how do you intend to live each day of your life? What are the things which are important to you?

Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Script – Live Like We’re Dying Lyrics:

Sometimes we fall down and can’t get back up

we’re hiding behind skin that’s too tough

how come we don’t say I love you enough

till it’s too late, it’s not too late

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won’t come

we could make a feast from these crumbs

and we’re all staring down the barrel of a gun

so if your life flashed before you

what would you wish you would’ve done

Yeah… gotta start

lookin’ at the hand of the time we’ve been given here

this is all we got and we gotta start thinkin’ if

every second counts on a clock that’s tickin’

gotta live like we’re dying

Yeah we got

86 400 seconds in a day to

turn it all around or throw it all away

we gotta tell ’em that we love ’em

while we got the chance to say

gotta live like we’re dying

And if your plane fell out of the skies

who would you call with your last goodbyes

should be so careful who we let fall out of our lives

so when we long for absolution

there’ll be no one on the line

Yeah… gotta start

lookin’ at the hand of the time we’ve been given here

this is all we got and we gotta start thinkin’ if

every second counts on a clock that’s tickin’

gotta live like we’re dying

We only got

86 400 seconds in a day to

turn it all around or throw it all away

we gotta tell ’em that we love ’em

while we got the chance to say

gotta live like we’re dying

What regrets would you have and what dreams would be unfulfilled if you died today? Well you have one year to fulfill it all. Now there is no time to put off your hopes and wishes for later years, because if you do this means you never give them a chance. Find a way to follow your dreams and live the life you desire. Start right now!

Take a look at your life and root out the causes of your pain and discontent. Now you know life is too short to spend it with people you do not like and doing things that make you unhappy. Change your life now so your next year be filled with joy and satisfaction.

Every day is opportunity to seek your real purpose. Every day is a chance to live an ideal life. I challenge you to be clear about your purposes in life. Decide to live your ideal life. What is it you need to be doing? You certainly need to be living your life at its fullest. Show your family how much you love them, take care of yourself well, follow your dreams, and get rid of the life-wasting rubbish in your life.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” – Pope Paul VI

Get a pen. Answer this question: What 10 things should I do in the next 30 days—if they were my last? Write whatever comes to your mind. The clock is ticking. You may be surprised at your answers.

1. _________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________

4. _________________________________________________

5. _________________________________________________

6. _________________________________________________

7. _________________________________________________

8. _________________________________________________

9. _________________________________________________

10. _________________________________________________

As a Life Coach I’m always looking to help other people with what they need. For so many clients they are in a desperate search to find clarity in life. What is it I want to make of my life? I have found that this exercise can help people find the answer. It helps them to set the direction for their life but also determines the legacy they will leave.

Let us endeavour to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain

 

 

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
6 Comments
  1. Mary April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Larry, there are a lot of ‘dreams’ that I have, but due to finances, I can’t. My ‘wishes’, my ‘dreams’ I live through other blogs that I have found because in reality I know that I probably won’t ever be able to accomplish them in person.
    One of the most important things to me is my family. I live for my family, for sharing, for loving, for just being together. If I knew I was dying, I would probably give up my business, swoop up my family and what little money we have and just hit the road runnin’. Seeing and doing everything and anything we could do together, capturing it all on video and camera so those memories would remain forever for my children.

    • LarryLewis April 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      Your love and strengthy of bonding with your family comes through so strongly in your blog Mary, and I love being able to share what you guys do. With regards to our other dreams, my motto has always been ‘where there is a will, there is a way’.

  2. baldychaz April 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Great Post Larry one of my best mates died aged 32 inspiration to me how he lived his life up until the end.

    • Larry Lewis January 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Such a sad thing, but a great reminder, make the most of every moment, because we really don’t know when it will be our last

  3. sub May 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    great post…i totally agree with it…there is a hindi saying “jeeyo to har pal aise jiyo, jaise ki akhri ho” meaning – “If you want to live life then live it as if your every moment is your last moment”…people often live either in the past or in the future and forget that ‘now’ is the only time you can live…

    • Larry Lewis January 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Sub, that is a fantastic comment. I love where somebody adds value to my posts, and your words truly have today. Thank you so much for doing so

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