It’s something we’ve all experienced – attend a funeral, or hear of someone who died young and in the prime of their life. Maybe someone died at an old age having not lived a fulfilled life (It gets less macabre, I promise).
Well, why is it that we say that we are going to live better and not be bound by life’s restrictions? Why is it only after deaths, or other traumatic experiences (divorce, heartache, betrayal, loss ) that we get these surges of inspiration, only to fall back into routine?
JAW’s got your back. These are my tips to live like it’s your last day:
First of all, people who have survived near-death experiences have spoken about a shift afterwards. I’ve read about a feeling of freedom and infinity, because they had nothing left to lose. They saw the end. This is essentially a list about how to make the most of your time, and not look back and regret any of it.
That H-word: this one goes first because of how often we’re confronted with it. H-a-p-p-y. After being confronted with “But what is happiness? How would I even know how it feels or when I am happy?” I’ve had a think over this. Besides the deeper issues with people who ask that, it’s a fair question. So I go with “Do what feels good, without hurting yourself, or others”.
Therefore, speeding around a racetrack to get your speed fix – YES.
Speeding down a highway where you could kill someone – wrong!
Drugs – feel good, but bad for you.
But do dive in! : this is a jawonthefloor amendment I use on myself often when I want to lounge around, or mope: Wake up, get up, dress up, show up; and if it’s necessary, throw up. The last one is silliness, unless your’e drunk, but that’s another post on its own. Life is short, it’s about doing things and experiencing. Your bed and those DVD’s will be there when you get back. And it will make you appreciate them more.
Celebrate: and why shouldn’t you? But not just the big things. Why are we such a cynical society, scared to be pleased with ourselves. When it’s an egoic thing used to mask insecurities and denigrate others, then no, that’s bad. But if you get through something, then give yourself the recognition.
I speak really fast, and sometimes my thoughts bottleneck and my speech is jumbled and disjointed. Whenever i present something publicly in a coherent and eloquent way, you better believe I’m going to limber up to pat myself on the back.
Your accomplishments are your own; own them!
Break the rules (where you can): but remember the first bit of of advice on this post. If it doesn’t hurt you, or anyone else, why not break a rule or two?
I used to be bound by too many of these little buggers. One example, when dating someone wait a certain amount of time before you have sex, or tell them that you love them, because anything shorter or longer will certainly mean something. Or not! Why?
How about do what feels right to you, at the time?
What if… : Don’t allow yourself moments of “what if”. Too many of us look back and wonder what would have happened had [fill in the blank as it suits you].
“But what if there is a talent scout there?” I recently performed at a friend’s birthday party. “Performed” is a very loose description for what we did. My friend Bianca and I did a little homage to female singing duos, with our adapted versions of the final number from Chicago, and Iconopop’s “I don’t care”. Bianca is a performer; I am not. Plus I got spectacularly drunk and fluffed the choreography. Again, a very loose and generous definition of that word.
Point is, we had fun! We dove in. We committed. And had there been a talent scout, one of us would have been a star and not looked back and thought what if we had not done it. Thank you B!
End toxic relationships today: I’ve written previously here about relationships and how tricky they can. They are ambivalent things. Friendships no less so. Have a good think, then do not have a “what if” moment. Forgiveness does not mean that you should have to live with it. You can be friendly, but not friends, or even close. And while we’re at it, avoid narcissists like the plague. This is a useful article on it. But first know yourself and what you want. (If you are nodding, then keep reading). I recently downgraded a friendship when someone showed me their true colours. Trust me, it gets easier.
“STOP” over thinking: this is not an easy one for a lifelong member of Overthinker’s Anonymous like me. But my dear friend Ahmed gave me the best piece of advice I’ve received in a long time. Say STOP. If you can, out loud, and then question your thoughts and your process. Oftentimes, like 99%, they are negative and sometimes unnecessary. Sometimes you don’t even realise. Do you want to waste time doing that if this were your last day?
Final one. Know thyself: As I always stress, I am no expert, so this is just a suggestion that has helped me. You don’t want to get to the end of the road and realise that you did not know yourself. Plus, you living a lie could be wasting a lot of your time, and causing you unnecessary pain.
So here’s the challenge: sit in silence, pray and/meditate. That’s it. If you are not religious, go with meditation, but even prayer need not be religious. It’s about you! Only catch is it has to be consistent. 30 days, or 90 if you are really keen. I guarantee you something will come out of it. Alternatively (or even concurrently) try writing it out. So many people I know are too scared of this because they know that once it’s out, it’s real. Get it out gosh darnit!
So there it is, my comprehensive, but my no means final list. Anyone have anything to add? Anything you disagree with? Always open to comments. Happy living dear readers.
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>