One of the habits that I am working to establish is a regular visit to the cemetery. No, I am not some freak looking for ghosts or anything morbid. I visit the grave of the founder of the organization that I work for.
I have learned to admire what this man stood for, his principles, and his dedication. These things have been lost over the years. As the CEO, I am striving to bring those principles into the modern era.
Somehow, sitting at his grave, I am reminded that my time to make these changes is limited. All of us have a certain number of days. We all have a set number of breaths to take and a certain amount of sunrises to see.
I don’t know when my end will be, but I want to live every day, each moment with the awareness that my time is not unlimited.
Unfortunately, for too many people, they live their lives in the same furrow. They wake up, eat a hurried breakfast, rush to work at a job they hate, eat lunch at the desk or at the crane, go home for dinner, watch the latest television show, and then go to bed.
Each day has little variation and little hope for change. Yes, there are moments of excitement when birthdays come around or a child graduates. But these are so sporadic that they barely register a pulse on the boredom scale. If this is your life, are you really alive?
Our days are numbered. As we look to the future, it is time we quit saying things like the following:
- When I get married…
- When the kids grow up…
- When the kids move out…
- When I retire…
- When I win the lottery…
Then I will…
Everybody dies – so why not live life to the fullest? Here is how you can, instead, use death as a motivator to start to LIVE your life more starting this very week.
How To Live Life To The Fullest
Count Your Days
It starts with training your mind to know that your days are limited. I don’t want to be a bummer, but there a lot can happen in a day. You could take a nap and never wake up. You could get shot in the crossfire between police and gang members.
Nobody plans on passing away today. I have a full schedule of meetings to attend, fun to have, dreams to accomplish. I don’t have time to die. But it could happen. I train myself to be aware of that knowledge every day so that I do not feel tempted to put off those things that are important.
Because today might be my final day, I tell my wife that I love her every morning. Because I might be on the pointy end of a bullet, I make sure that I keep a very short list of people that I need to apologize to.
Because today might very well be the back end of the dash on my tombstone, I make sure to live fully in integrity and honor. I may not have tomorrow to make up for the things that I fail to get done today.
Time is precious, that’s why I make the most of every moment. One of the lessons that I have repeatedly taught my children is that if I would lose $20, I could earn it back with little effort. However, if I wasted 20 minutes on anything, it is gone. I can never earn it back.
I must make the most of every moment. This enables me to live fully in my relationships, my work, and my joys.
Plan an Adventure
The predictable life is calling to that part of you that likes safety. It takes effort to break out of that sleep-work cycle. Live life to the fullest by coming up with adventures. These can be small ones, like weekend hikes or trips to the beach. Or it could be things like worldwide excursions, if it fits your budget.
But really, what I am talking about here are full-blown adventures. Look at a map and pick a city to visit. I once drove a few hours to a city called Oblong. I was curious about the shape of the town. By the way, it had no specific geometric shape that I could identify, but it was definitely NOT oblong.
The city, by the way, was not the adventure. The adventure came in the journey. We saw hay bales stacked and painted in assorted creatures. Lunch was at a diner where the waitress called everyone honey, darling, or puddin’. Stories were told that may or may not have been true, friendships were enhanced.
In boring seasons of life, we recount the adventures where we got lost, the rains upon our camping trips, and other mishaps. These typically come with great laughter and restored youth. Live life to the fullest so that the future feels possible.
Make at Least One Move Toward Your Dream Weekly
Maybe you’re currently living your dream. If so, that is awesome! Let us dream of a complete life. Fully living from our entire being must be done deliberately. Our dreams will not come about by accident.
Capture what a total and complete life would look like. What is the best possible future that is waiting for you? Who are you living with, playing with, and working with? Where are you living? What skills do you want to be an expert on in the future? How can you improve yourself?
Create this ultimate dream for your life. Now develop a plan to get there. No excuses! What will it take to be a college professor, a political giant, or the best sports announcer ever? How will you find the love of your life, or restore a strained relationship with your sibling?
Create a plan for getting to your ultimate dream. What are you going to do this week so that dream has a possibility of coming true? Every week should have something that you can do. Maybe read a book, write a speech, send that email, or make that phone call. Dreams can come true through little steps towards it. No excuses – DO something to live life to the fullest.
Life is short. It seems all of the ancient writings bemoan that fact. Even those who have a hundred years under their belt often feel like they could have done more, been more, and lived more.
Today, what are YOU going to do? I call for you to live life to the fullest, completely from your heart and your mind.