The Present-Minded Life

This morning on the radio there was a segment where they were encouraging people to call in and tell what they would change about their lives if they knew they only had 10 years left to live. It was intriguing and thought-provoking, but also a little unnerving.

Imagine knowing for certain that you only had 10 years left in your life. With that deadline looming over you, how would you live your life differently? I allowed myself to indulge in this thought with one of my first ideas being that I would actually hook up and hang out with my friends and family more regularly like we always promise we will do (at least once a month) instead of when we actually see each other (every 6 months to a year, at funerals, or at weddings).

But then I started thinking…why should that be the push to do something that I really want to do, something that I claim is important to me? Why would it take knowing exactly how limited my time is before I would decide to get my act together and stop living like tomorrow is promised?

With the recent unexpected deaths of people my age (high school classmates, Kobe Bryant), I’m starting to feel the pressure to get it together and live life to the fullest.

But why do we do that?

Why do we wait until some tragedy comes along in order for us to decide that we need to embrace this beautiful thing called life and get every last drop of goodness out of it?

It’s because we all live with the future in mind, that future that promises that all of our dreams will come true and that we will have the happily-ever-after ending, that we’ll die peacefully in our beds surrounded by friends and loved ones after we’ve finished living our best life.

But that, my friend, is not promised. Not to any of us.

Yet we live as if it is. And we act as if that happy ending will happen all on its own.

In order to have that fairy-tale ending, WE HAVE TO PUT IN THE WORK NOW. No one knows when their life will end, but we all know that one day it will. Death is inevitable, and we only get one chance at life. So why, why do we put off until tomorrow what we can do TODAY?

My friend, Monica Perez Burnett, put it this way, “You deserve the life you tolerate.” Let that sink in.

Now don’t think that I’ve got it all together. This is as much a message to myself as it is to you, friend. But I really want all of us to consider that if 10 years from now we looked back on today, would we be happy with what we see ourselves doing right now?

Today I can say that the answer would be yes because I worked my Sanctuary Girl business, took time for myself, and I relaunched my blog (which I’ve been vowing to do for MONTHS ). But will I be able to say that tomorrow? Will I keep that same passion and drive tomorrow or will I revert back to the complacent, I-can-do-it-tomorrow mindset that seems to plague us all periodically?

We can rewrite what the future looks like for us, but it calls on us to be present-minded. It calls on us to live today not like it’s our last but like we are writing our future the way we want it to be. So that even if our lives ended before we expected, we could be proud of the path that we were on, the work we had put in, the goals we were crushing.

The book won’t get written if you never start it. That house will never get purchased if you don’t start working on your credit and savings today. That friend won’t know how much they mean to you if you don’t reach out and connect with them today. You won’t leave that legacy that you want for your children, your grandchildren, and generations to come.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m challenging all of us TODAY to become present-minded, to be a part of the ANTI-REGRET LEAGUE. (Yes, I just made that up). The point is, I want us all to push every single day to do something that will make our future selves smiles, that will make our future selves look back and say “Today is possible because of the choices I made back then.” Let’s not live a life of regret, one filled with unfilled dreams and potential.

Let’s not settle for anything less than what God has promised us.

What will you do today to ensure that tomorrow is your dream come true?

Check out my poem about this topic here.

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