#24 - Live Like You Were Dying

How would you live today if you knew you only had 2 months to live?

I was asked this question today, and it rocked my world.

Why?

It’s not just because of how much I love that Tim McGraw song.

It’s because I believe it. And until today, I hadn’t thought about it in awhile. The fragility of life is an important thing to remember, but it’s so easy to let it fly under the radar.

While we all know in theory that our lives, or the lives of our loved ones, could end at any second, few people actually live as if that’s truly the case. I’ll be the first to admit that many days I’m in that bucket.  

That’s why it’s so shocking when something bad happens to someone close to you. It hits you by surprise, and it hurts.

It can also wake you up in an INSTANT.

That’s what happened to me when Darrik Flahive died on November 15, 2011.

Derrik was one of my teammates on the Colby College Men’s lacrosse team. I was a freshman and he was a junior.

Derrik was studying abroad the fall semester of his Junior year when I was a freshman. As a result, I never got the chance to meet him. All I heard were stories of who he was and the impact that he had on people’s lives.

And for some reason, his life story stuck with me. At the time, I was in a state of deep suffering. I was struggling with anxiety and depression, and I felt lost in a haze of unfulfillment.

When I heard the news about Darrik, the haze cleared in an instant. Because in that instant, I recognized that all the thinking I was doing about life didn’t even matter. I realized that life could end at any instant, and the weight of that hit me hard.

Derrik’s death hit me with one of those “live like you were dying” messages square in the face. I started reading Derrik’s favorite book, The Power of Now, and everything started to make more sense.

I realized that my problems were coming not from life, but from my head. I realized that I could actually work on my mind to stop creating so many false problems.

Most importantly, I realized that time was running out at every instant. So I felt a tremendous desire to figure it out quick.

Since then I’ve completely turned around my life. I went from being an insecure and unhappy teenager to a confident and extremely fulfilled young 25 year old who finds joy in every single day.

You, too, have the power to change. You’re perfect the way you are, but you have a lot of room to grow and increase your fulfillment. I really hope you decide to do it!

Time is precious, and you’re here on this earth to live your best life. Feeling mediocre is not what you’re here for.

You’re here to thrive, so take up an interest in waking up to your potential to do that.

Being present in life is key. It’s what we’re here to do. The more present you are, the more you can experience all it has to offer.

Life’s greatest treasure isn’t off in some distant future. It’s available to you at any moment. Your ability to experience the best of what life has to offer comes from your ability to be present.

This treasure is what people often start to tap into when they find out their life, or the life of a loved one, could be cut short.

But you don’t have to wait for bad news to come before changing your life. You just need to learn how to be present. When you learn how to be present, which is a skill, you can decide to live like you were dying.

By cultivating skills in mindfulness and emotional intelligence, you gain power to decide your level of presence as well as the emotions you feel. But you have to develop these skills.

Until you spend time developing them, the unconscious mind will remain in control of how present you are and what emotions you feel.

So, if you want to live like you were dying, decide to start living in the moment. It’s the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the people you come into contact with.

Don’t wait to start living. Don’t settle for a mind-dominated reality. Start developing your ability to be present today.

It’s time to start living like you were dying!

Love,

Chip