We have all heard the saying “Live each day like it was your last,” but how many times have you actually followed this advice? If so, how long did you hold onto it? A day? A week? Maybe a few weeks if you’re lucky?
It’s not to say that this is bad advice, but it also doesn’t help to put into perspective how precious life is or just how many blessings fill our lives.
I don’t know about you, but if I had to fit everything I wanted to do into my life in just one day, I would probably spend that day trying to figure out what’s most important that I wouldn’t actually get around to anything. Not only that, but a lot of the things that I want to do take more than one day to complete.
I guess what I am getting at, is how do we decide what to do if we only have one day left to live?
Think of Life As A Deadline
Now for the record, I am far from perfect. I still struggle with certain thoughts on a daily basis, and just like everybody else, some days are better than others, and some aren’t.
But whenever I found myself trying to adapt to the mindset of living every day like it was my last, I would just put too much pressure on myself to live that day and found that I wasn’t fully cherishing the day for all of the beauty and blessings that came with it.
Think of life as a deadline. How many times have you found yourself procrastinating until the last minute? Whether it was a presentation for work or a project for school, we all know what it feels like to rush in order to get something done.
How did that work for you? Did you complete it to the best of your ability? Was it something you were proud of? Did you actually reach your potential or did you settle for the minimum just so you could get by?
Life is no different. When we adopt the mindset of living each day like it’s our last, we rush through things, we don’t slow down to cherish the blessings that are directly in front of us, and we aren’t fully present. One may even question if this is living or just going through the motions.
Live Each Week Like It’s Your Last
Take that same example above with work and school and ask yourself how much difference a week would make. How much better would your project or presentation be if you started a week out instead of at the last minute? How much more would you have retained as a result of giving yourself more to learn? How much more confidence would you feel in knowing that you were able to give it your absolute best?
Odds are that your project or presentation would have turned out much better if you gave yourself a week instead of giving yourself a day. Odds are that you would have retained more information and would have learned something new. Odds are you would feel far more confident in knowing you gave it your best effort and reached your full potential.
No matter how you look at it, giving yourself a week instead of a day will always be a win-win.
We Are On Borrowed Time
You might be asking “Well, what if I don’t have a week to live?” That’s the thing, nobody knows if they have a week to live. Nobody knows if they even have a day to live.
It’s no question that we are on borrowed time. With every second of our lives that ticks away, we are all that much closer to death. Whenever that may come, nobody will know.
The thought of death used to be something that scared me, but since changing my mentality on life, I have realized that death is the greatest teacher.
This isn’t to say that I want to die, but I am happy with the life that I have lived thus far and am even more excited for the eternal life that awaits me.
What’s helped me deal with what once was my fear has been the mindset that I have developed to try and stop waiting to live my life for a future day that is all but certain and start living it now.
My mom always used to say to me “If you’re going to do something half-assed, don’t do it at all.” If we go through life living each day like it’s our last, we are living a half-assed life.
Part of life is the actions we take, but the other part is the appreciation we have. While we may find ourselves “doing” all that we want, does it even count if we don’t take the time to actually appreciate what we are doing in the first place?
Reflect On Your Life Weekly
A week is the perfect amount of time. It is neither too short nor too long.
Imagine if you knew you were going to die in a week. How would that change your life now? How would your priorities change? How would your thoughts and your daily actions change? Think about what you would do with your last week and then ask yourself why you are not doing more of those things now.
You don’t need to have all of the latest and greatest things to live a fulfilled and meaningful life, you just need to live without compromising your life for a future day.
If you can go through life and challenge yourself to live this week as though it was going to be your last week alive, your mind will release all of your suppressed desires. All that’s left if to act on those desires and you will never fear death again because you know you have lived a fulfilled life.
Before You Go
If you are somebody who fears death, it’s because you know that there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing, but you are pushing away for a later day.
The best advice – quit pushing. Reflect on what you would do if this was your last week alive and do more of those things. You will feel more fulfilled and will value your life even more.
Death can be a scary thing, but it can also be the greatest teacher. Let it teach you how to live a better life than the one you are currently living, and start by reflecting on what you would do if this were your last week alive.
Live each week like it’s your last and hold nothing back!