About a decade ago I attended my best friend’s funeral. And as I looked down into her casket, all I could think was, “I always knew I loved you, but I didn’t realize how much until today.”
My best friend and I weren’t as close as we could have been during the final years of her life, I didn’t know she has cancer, we were torn apart right after college and I always thought we’d have more time to spend together, to reconcile our differences and laugh again.
As you can imagine, this was a huge wake-up call for me. I learned the hard way that the clichéd statement “life is short” isn’t a cliché at all. But it didn’t break me down for long.
I began living my life with more passion and purpose than I ever had before. Even through the experience was dreadful, I fuelled my pain into a purposeful path forward. And I found the rainbow in an otherwise dark and stormy time in my life.
Here’s what I learned – three wake-up calls for you… or just a few important lessons worth learning sooner rather than later:
1. The average human life is relatively short.
We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know.
It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step.
You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
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Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyways.
2. Patience does not mean waiting and doing nothing.
Patience involves productive activity. It means doing your very best with the resources available to you, while understanding that the results you seek are worth the required time and effort, and not available elsewhere for any less time and effort.
Patience is the realization that the quality of your life is much more significant than the quantity of things you fill it with. Patience is your willingness to accept and appreciate what you have right now, while you put forth a steady, focused effort into growing toward your dreams and goals.
3. Excuses are lies you tell yourself.
Make no mistake, there is always a lie lingering in between a dream and too many excuses.
The excuses and explanations won’t do you any good. They won’t add any value to your life or improve the quality of it by even the slightest margin. To fulfil your calling and get where you wish to go in life requires more than just thinking and talking.
These feats require focused and sustained action. And the good news is, you’re perfectly capable of taking whatever actions are necessary. You just have to choose to actually do it.
No one else can succeed for you on your behalf. The life you live is the life you build for yourself. There are so many possibilities to choose from, and so many opportunities for you to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Now is the moment to actually step forward.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of these points, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track by living a life free of unnecessary headaches and heartache.