You’re Gonna Die, Part 1

Death of a surrealist soldier

Image by funadium via Flickr

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? How would you spend your last hours?  Would you go skydiving before the chance evaporated forever, or would you spend the day talking with your loved ones?

If you knew you would die in a month, what would you do?  Would you plan a trip to the one place in the world you’ve always wanted to see?  Would you look up all the friends you’ve been too busy to see?

What would you regret?  Is there something you have always wished you’d done, but have put off for some reason or another?  Do you want to write a novel, or backpack Europe, or watch a shuttle launch?   Far more people regret opportunities missed than those they’ve taken.  If there is something that you could do that would let you die happy, take steps today to make that a reality.  Remember that you are probably not going to die in a day or a month, but don’t let your entire life slip away without doing the things that matter most to you.

Our lives are short.  Far too short to waste time on the things that add no value.  Everything you do should advance your happiness, either short-term or long.  That doesn’t mean you should waste your life pursuing hedonism.  Lives need meaning.  Chase that meaning.

Find out what gives your life meaning.  What do you do that lets you go to bed with a smile on your face?  Those are the activities that you should maximize.  What is wasting your time?  You can probably shut off the news and never miss it.   It’s just too much information that doesn’t add anything to your life.   Does obsessing over Charlie Sheen’s latest antics ad any value to your life?   Take that time and write a screenplay, take a walk, smell a flower, hug your kids, anything that provides actual value for you.  Don’t waste your life on meaningless activities that do nothing more than kill time.  Time is the one thing we have that we will not get back.

Many people go to their deathbeds thinking, “I wish I had X.”  What is your X?  What would you wish you had done?

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    1. I purposely try to live a life where I won’t have these thoughts. Great post. Thanks for reminding us to focus on our dreams.

    2. If I have a month left, I’d walk out of my cubicle right now and quit my job. 🙂
      But I’m pretty sure I have more than a month so I’m still here. Some day though…

    3. I often said that I have done everything I wanted to do in my life. So no regrets! There are always things I would like to do. My first would be wanting more time to see my kids get older, see future grandchildren, or travel more.

    4. For me – it is traveling…100% Traveling. I want to see more of Europe, would love a trip to somewhere in China or Japan…I want to travel more.


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