If today was your last day on earth, what’s that one thing you would regret not doing? My advice is, Do that thing today!
So this is what went down, In 2018 I fell sick and was bed ridden for 5 months. Those were my worst five months ever! But glory be to God who spared my life. After my near death encounter, the aspect of living resonated with me on many fronts. I discovered all my shortfalls and things that I regretted in that moment. I realised how as human beings we waste our lives without living. We spend our time either regretting/ grieving about the past or anxious about the future. We never live in the present moment and we carry on like this as if we are gonna live forever.
Last year is the year that I decided to change this norm in my life. I decided to start living and in so doing, help others live too. I was one of those people who were always taking the back seat of my life and I was happy sitting there and doing nothing. Even in school or at work, I was always absent in my mind, lost in my own world, never happy about anything but complaining about everything. It’s only after such dense moments of life that one can learn the crucial lessons of life;
- Every breath should be appreciated and utilised, so live
- The past is gone and can’t be changed, tomorrow is beyond our reach and is not guaranteed therefore all we have is today for us to live. This very moment that we are alive, is all we have so we have to utilize it
- Things may not happen according to your plan but you still have to live
- You may never get enough resources to implement your plan but you can start where you are and with what you have
- There are no guarantees in life, everything is subject to change so if you want to do something, do it today, you may not succeed at it but if you don’t try you may never know the outcome.
- Do not be stuck in things you do not enjoy because you may not live long enough to do the things you love
- In the end you will regret more, the things that you didn’t do than those that you did so live!
Because of the above lessons, as I was healed and got back on my feet, the first thing that struck me was to live. I was stuck in a profession I was quite good at but did not enjoy. Surrounded by intoxicating relationships that brought nothing but so much negativity to my life and I wasn’t doing anything about it. So those where the things I decided to change once I got back on my feet.
I decided to do the things that I loved, things that gave me joy, and things that made me alive. I shifted my attention from making money to doing the things that I love, if money is gonna come, it will find me living my life. In this light, I started compiling my blog posts, poems and stories, to inspire and motivate others. I even volunteered at with a counselling organization that offers training and counselling facilities to the community, students and organisations. I started designing clothes and doing all the other things that made me happy.
In my analysis I realised that in life there are 3 kinds of people and I categorized them as below;
The three categories of people in life
These are the people who approach their lives as mere spectators who have come to watch a show or a game. They hardly do anything, to them life is predetermined so they just go along with the blowing wing. Because if you don’t know where you are going, surely any road will lead you there. These do not yield to peer pressure but that doesn’t make them better, they are simply withdrawn from their own lives. These people exist on auto pilot mode, everything they do, they do it subconsciously. To them life is predestined so everything that goes wrong, they pin it on destiny.
2. Mere participants
They swim but going along with the tide. These are participants in their lives. They are happy to live as long as others are also participating. They are just proud of doing something, as long as they feel they are doing something, they are happy, no matter what it is they are doing. But action is not enough, it has to be guided action for it to yield to something. These are the people who spend most of their time consulting people about their life decisions and they yield to peer pressure. If anything goes wrong, they pin it on others
3. Active Engagers
These are the game changers, they come to life, recreate their reality, set their own rules and break them along the way if they have to. They are actively engaged in their lives. They don’t just follow through, they question everything and decide their direction of sail. Because questioning opens the creative parts of your brain. These are the people who live and if anything goes wrong, they don’t play the blame game, they take responsibility and accountability for their lives.
This sums up the different kinds of people and I made a decision to become an active engager.
I have never felt more joy or happiness in my life than this. After compiling my blog posts for about half a year, poems and clothes designs, my laptop crashed, all that wasn’t backed up anywhere . I lost everything, my lifetime writings and designs but you know what, that did not even move me. Maybe it’s actually what I needed to really check if writing was for me. Now that I look at it I realise, I have even written more in a month than I have written in years. Apparently that crash jumpstarted me to my writing life. I can write for a whole day without even eating, my passion feeds my stomach and when I am writing time falls away.
Therefore my advice to you right now is Live!
My 4 Important cornerstones of living
- Live a healthy life. When all has been said and done, your health comes tops. Health before wealth makes sense . What would anything mean to you when you are not healthy? Everything becomes meaningless. Exercise every day, avoid certain foods if you have to, eat organic and nutritious foods that can promote your wellbeing, get enough sleep . Your happiness is your very own responsibility and not anybody else otherwise you will never be happy.
- Do things that make you happy .If you want to help others you have to begin by helping yourself. If you want others to become happy, you need to start by being happy yourself, because honestly you cannot give what you don’t have. Personal happiness is not a selfish pursuit, although it may seem so but if you are a grumpy person, nobody enjoys to be around you. Everybody enjoys being around a happy person because emotions are contagious.
- Live a life of purpose . If you don’t do anything with your life, even 200 years will still feel like 1 day to you, there won’t be any difference. When you maximize on your talents you are maximizing on what you can give to the world. Your purpose is that thing that jumps you out of bed and keeps you going even when things are bleak.
- Succeed . If you want to lead a frustrated life, do nothing. Every second you are doing nothing is time lost that you will never be able to regain. Time can’t be stored, you have to set your goals and achieve them if you wanna be happy. If we become complacent of a day we become complacent of a whole lifetime because a lifetime is constituted of days. The more we succeed, the more we can have an impact on the world around us.
The me before was chilled and relaxed as if I was on a honeymoon voyage but then after my near death encounter, I realised that life is meant to be lived! Do the things that make you happy every day. Go on that trip and forget about everything else, embark on that adventure and find out something new, Just Live! When was the last time you did something you really wanted to do and was happy about it? That is living! Not taking a back seat to your life, take the driver’s seat! Actively engage in your life rather than being a mere participant or spectator.
Growing up, I always thought there was a perfect moment for something and perfect circumstances but I realised on death’s door, perfect moments do not exist! If you want a perfect moment, create it! If you want perfect circumstances, create them! Otherwise your time shall be up before you do anything. You owe it to yourself to consider yourself, love yourself and live your life!
- Live your life for yourself and not for other people. Stop putting a facade for other people, Stop doing things you don’t like in order to please other people because truth is, people will never be pleased.
- Take responsibility for your actions. If you are taking the driver’s seat of your boat, you should not blame anyone when something goes wrong! Stop blaming people for your life’s problems, no matter what, take accountability because you are responsible for your own life!
I would love to hear from you. Please write back to me and let me know of your own experiences regarding life and, if you found this useful, please share it with someone.