Thankfully, the lessons that life has to offer can, at times, be kind.
I spent the first 22 years of my life expecting tomorrow to come, and it did.
I spent the next 11 realizing that tomorrow may not come (luckily, it did).
Plus or minus a few years, does this sound like you?
I believe that you are a lot like me, and like me, you might take some things for granted.
Let’s take the air we breathe as an example. Just like you, I don’t think about it. I expect that it will be there when I need to take my next breath and continue to be there every breath after that.
Without fail, it is.
Now, if I were to ask you if you could remember what you did yesterday or last week, would you be able to?
Because you are like me and like me, you probably struggle to remember where you left your car keys, you won’t be able to.
Too often the days can become taken over by all the meaningless day-to-day tasks that life has for us. Sadly these tasks take up the most valuable resource life has to offer, time.
On average, and assuming you will live to 75, you will spend 657, 450 hours on the planet. I know that this may seem like a lot, however, remember that each year you will use up 8,760 hours.
Seeing these numbers led me to think about a very special person, my Grandfather. Just like your Grandfather, mine was an amazing person. I recall sitting with him, listening to his lessons and absorbing everything he was teaching me.
Reflecting on him, got me thinking about other lessons I have been taught by him and other elderly people I’ve had the great fortune of knowing.
- They wished they had lived their own life, rather than live the life society taught them
- Society teaches you about its standards while conveniently forgetting that you have yours. It is frustrating to know that somewhere along the line, its standards became more important than yours. I know that you were taught that you could do anything. and for your sake, between now and the end, make sure you do it.
- They wished that they had discovered their purpose earlier
- Purpose is something that gives our lives meaning. We as human beings are driven to a greater cause than their own. Find what your cause is and attack it like a tiger attacking its next meal.
- They wished that they had taken more risks
- Risks are scary. Believe me, I get that. Living a risk-free life is scarier. Risks will make you feel alive. Take them only as often as you feel comfortable, but make sure you take them.
- They wished they had taken better care of themselves
- You only get one shot at this thing called life. Listen to both your mind and body and you can’t go wrong.
- They wished they had allowed themselves to love more
- Unlike, C-3P0, Johnny- 5 and Wall-E, you understand emotion and are able to love. Your body responds to love in an amazing way by releasing a couple of chemicals. If for the chemical rush alone, love more.
- They wished they had touched and inspired more lives
- This is the greatest gift you can give. You have the ability (now more than ever) to touch lives all over the world. In a time of such uncertainty, reach out to and change the lives of as many as you can.
- They wished they had been a better partner or parent
- When it is all over and you are lying on your bed reflecting on life, it is my hope that your significant other is with you. They made a promise to be there until the end, so make sure you treat them like someone you want there at the end. While you’re at it, treat your kids the same way. You want a nice eulogy, don’t you?
There is a world of information sitting inside our elderly population, the majority of which is not found in this post.
Because you are like me, you know there is real value in spending some time with them. Not only do they provide valuable lessons, spending time with them is a great way to pass a day.
I’d love to hear about the ideas that you have been taught. If you have some time, please write your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers to your success,
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