Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last

By: George Verdolaga Goals 4 Comments Aug 26, 2011

Lately, I’ve been looking back at the last couple of months and I’m surprised at the number of very dynamic and influential people that I know who’ve suddenly passed away. One was a distant uncle in his late 70s who was still working on several huge construction projects. He also played golf and collected cars on top of his very long work week and wasn’t about to retire anytime soon. He died recently from a fatal heart attack.

Another gentleman I know in the prime of his real estate career and still figuratively climbing mountains passed away recently after a year of struggling with a strange form of cancer that snuffed out his life too early (he was in his late 40s). He was a very powerful and effective speaker and several times past president of his BNI chapter (Harbourside) that I’d been a part of for several years.

We always assume that the sun will always rise and that we’ll always enjoy the company of our loved ones. We generally don’t like to think of the difficult things like death, which inevitably happens. It’s also a big reason why we sometimes tend to take important people – and things like our health – for granted. We think that there’s always going to be time to address these while we take care of the business at hand. But we never do really know if we still have another day (or year) to live.

Reflecting on the fragility and uncertainty of life has prompted me to think even more about what I eat, how much I exercise and how I deal with the people in my life. There’s definitely still some room for improvement and I’m learning to not only compartmentalize problems but also to appreciate them. As long as we’re all still actively involved in the game of life these challenges will only keep on coming to continue to test and strengthen us. And like all good things, life’s problems also do come to an end and there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’ve got some dreams or plans that have yet to come to fruition, you want might want to check out former Carnegie Mellon professor Randy’s Pausch’s “Last Lecture” available in book format or Youtube video. It’s a startlingly moving and inspiring little clip about a dying man’s hopes and dreams (he delivered his lecture with only 5 months left to live) that will make you really think about how much time we really have on Earth and what we should be doing with it.


4 Responses to “Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last”

  1. Matt Chong says:

    It’s a really good point you bring up about being mindful of exercise and diet as these are usually the first things to go when we get busy. I find that there are many weeks that go by where I’m in such a hurry to “get there” while completely missing the journey. I’ve spent a lot of time up at Buddhist monasteries where mindfulness of each moment whether it be eating, meditating or walking in nature is highly honored and revered. By taking this same mindfulness to daily life, I think we can slow down and really enjoy the moments more.

  2. George Verdolaga says:

    Looks like we’re on the same wavelength this week with regards to thinking about health. I like your point about “mindfulness”, Matt. I come across lots of people drifting through life seemingly on automatic pilot. See how low energy level can lead to procrastination in Matt Chong’s blog (which provides excellent tips on leadership, entrepreneurship and must-read books) post, http://thepinstripedsuit.com/2011/08/26/how-to-solve-the-problem-of-procrastination/

  3. Tina says:

    How strange to be reading this, so soon after receiving some news last night. It’s not something I can talk about just yet. But thank you for your well-worded reflection, which echoes my own thoughts of late. My daughter and I watched the video together, and I hope it moved her the way it did me.

  4. George Verdolaga says:

    Guess I was meant to deliver this message to you for some reason… I read a few years ago in “The Celestine Prophecy” said that we’re all in this journey together and are each other’s teachers. I’m glad you had the opportunity to watch the video together with your daughter and are able to influence her greatly still.

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