Today you have your annual physical at the doctor’s office. You wake up and enjoy a hearty breakfast and then head out for your appointment. All looks well and you’re sent for the typical tests that accompany your annual physical and then your appointment is done and you’re off to work. One week later you get a call from your doctor’s office asking you to come in to discuss your physical. You oblige and head in as instructed.
The receptionist calls you in and you sit down on the patient bed. The doctor walks in and closes the door. He flips through his notes, looks at you and slowly mutters the words “I’m afraid I have some bad news.” Your heart skips a beat as you hear him mutter some words about results and re-focus long enough to hear the dreaded words “I’m afraid you only have one month to live”.
Luckily the above is just fiction. But what if it wasn’t? What if you only had one month to live? What if at this very moment you knew that the next 30 days was all the time you had left to enjoy on this planet? What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you talk to and what would you tell them?
The reality is that nobody knows when their time is up. Regardless of when that time comes, it is entirely within our control to decide how we will live each and every day. We can do what makes us happy, take time to reflect, reach for our goals, explore new opportunities and have conversations that we’ve always wanted to but never found the right opportunity. Alternately, we can just coast, accept each day as it is and just barely be alive.
Over the last few years, each time I found myself making excuses and procrastinating I’d ask myself, “What would you do if you were going to die in 1 month?”. This one question has changed everything for me. Forcing myself to face the harsh reality that any day very well could be my last has helped me to push myself beyond what I could’ve ever imagined were my limitations. It has motivated me to face my fears, reach for my goals and initiate numerous conversations that were challenging to have. More importantly it has helped me to frame my mindset in an appreciative manner. Each and every day I have chosen to make the best out of each moment and enjoy both the challenges and the successes.
Now answer these questions. How would you spend the next thirty days if they were your last? What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you talk to and what would you tell them? What are the things you’ve been procrastinating on? Who have you avoided talking to? What changes can you make in your life that would dramatically increase your happiness? It’s time to take action. Once today is gone you can’t get it back – make it count!