AUTHORS NOTE: I originally wrote this in early 2010. While this was a long time ago the message still resonates with me as I hope it does you.
While returning home from a visit with my father, who was battling cancer at the time, I was inspired to write this. To date this is my favorite article that I have even written.
I hope that you get value from it.
Original post published January 25th, 2010 on the "Your Best Fitness Coach" blog. Please enjoy "Happen".
As I drifted off to sleep thoughts of my dad occupied my waning consciousness. I had marveled at the beauty of the seemingly endless expanse of clouds out the airplane window.
I marveled at how the jet I was on could fly so high to simply be on top of the storms and wind below. It really got me thinking about my life, the world around me, and my dad.
My dad is dying.
The truth though is that so am I. The truth is that so are you. We are all dying. At some point in the future the sun will come up. Planes will fly. Everyone will have jobs. Kids will be born. Presidents will serve. Rain will fall. It will be too hot or too cold. You won’t be here to see it. I won’t be here to see it and my dad won’t be here to see it.
You see the world keeps moving. The world doesn’t need us. While we all fit into the world in our own way with our own destiny we have to acknowledge that it will go on without us.
When I flew north 4 days ago I missed my connecting flight in Baltimore. As I walked up the concourse to my gate I could see “Gate C3” with an AirTran plane pulling out. My plane was leaving without me. There was another plane is an hour but that one just went on without me because I wasn’t there.
This life is like a big clock. No matter how much it seems like clocks slow down when we’re in the dentist chair, it does not. Time just keeps moving. The world keeps moving. There are no replays.
Dave Ramsey used to say “Don’t let life happen to you. You need to happen to it.”
That is the message that keeps playing through my head as MY big clock winds down. Our time is limited so why not make the most of it.
Usually we get the “life is short” message when we experience the death or a loved one or the near death of yourself or a loved one. For most they just use the words and don’t apply the lesson. I’m trying to tell you now to apply the lesson. Our life clocks are ticking. Hear it?
Take your life TODAY and happen to it.
Don’t accept things that you shouldn’t accept. You know what those things are. Stop putting things off this tomorrow. Dig out that bucket list and do number one THIS WEEK. Make a bucket list. Call your mom. Quit your job. Do something, but do it now.
Fill your days with passion, joy, enrichment, excitement and worth. What is your purpose? Fulfill that purpose.
I am a truly blessed person because I get all this.
I try to fill my days with value but I’m often off target with how I spend my time. I, however, understand this and it’s ok. I’m constantly trying to make this better. I’m putting the effort in and that’s important.
Take your life and make it the life that YOU want it to be. Life like you were dying. Make each day one that you can be proud of. Build your legacy starting TODAY.
The words I have for you are these: You are dying. When the end comes what are people going to say about you? What are you going to say about yourself? Are you going to be someone who fills a church so much so that people that come late to your service have to stand against the back wall because there are no seats left?
I hope to be like my dad as the sun sets on his life.
I hope that your son or daughter says this to you: “I am proud and honored to have you as a dad. I love you with all my heart and I am the amazing person, husband and father I am today because of the example that you have set for me. Thank you so very much for being you and shining your light on this world. You are a great man and a true inspiration.”
If someone says that about you then you have truly lived.
Now just go out and happen to life.