What really matters

Facing death of a beloved one or a close friend hits you hard and makes you put things into perspective.

We know one day we’re going to die. But all the other days not. So we keep on running and building our castles as if we would live forever. Only when someone very close to us passes away, it makes us readjust our priorities.

Despite the old saying “don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive”, we fall back into our routines and fights very quick like we would live forever.

We live under the premises like “time is money”, “performance”, “competition”, “ambition”, “success” and other selfish or exhibitionist trends letting our values and principles roll to a side corner.

We praise and underline our principles and expectations to live a joyful or peaceful life, but we tend to let that for later. We park somehow that vision. When does it pops up again?

When we’re faced with death. When we fall in the reality that we’re reaching the end of the line, the light is going off or went off to someone very close unexpectedly. We’re sent back to a more emotional state, realizing all we have or have built isn’t for granted as we’re just “temporary tenants” on earth.

When we’re facing death (or life) we tend to love. To understand. To be patient. To live with intent. To thank, to praise, to respect. To slow down.

We call relatives or friends with whom we had a dispute. We call or reach out to friends we haven’t spoke for ages. We want to embrace the world and be more kind (meaning we acknowledge we haven’t been that much).

During our busy days we’re well aware of fashionable mottos like Carpe Diem, YOLO, and so on, but we don’t really embed it with our hearts and minds. We think to ourselves “that’s very nice but I need to pay my bills”. Later. One day I’ll live my dream life.

It’s a pity (and a waste) we need to be confronted to death to have that wish and regret not having lived a life of joy and fulfillment. How many people repents in their last breaths? If they could ask for forgiveness? say they’re sorry? wished they have lived and loved more? Take more chances? follow their dreams? spend more time with friends and loved ones? give less relevance to the noise of the world?

Many studies have shown this is the main pattern of people on their last breaths. They wished they had spent less time with trivial things. Useless fights. Trying to be perfect. Living with pressure at all levels. Living by the cursor of success. Flooded with ‘to do’ lists (instead should have created “not to do” lists)

Visualize yourself on your last moments of life. Shut your eyes and imagine yourself in your own coffin. Imagine the people gathered in the chapel. At are they thinking about? What are their memories of you? How would you like to be remembered? See yourself there in the coffin and see your life backwards. What would you like to have done different? More? Less? If you could extend your life for a bit, what would you do with it? Why don’t you start doing it now? You’re planning it for later? Don’t forget cemeteries are full of people who had plans for the very next day. It’s not that the end of the line arrives when you’re done with your projects or ambitions, it arrives normally without pre-notice. Don’t leave your dreams and wishes behind.

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