“That’s my opinion: we’re all going to die soon. Someone once told me, ‘live each day as if it were your last, and you’ll certainly be right one day.’
And I do it.
You never know when you’re going to die, but you know you’re going to, and if you’re going to leave anything behind, it’ll be your kids, your friends, and your work”
Many years later, in a commencement speech, he returned to the same subject and posed one powerful question:
“If today was the last day of my life would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
It’s frightening to consider that we don’t have an infinite number of years to live.
But it’s essential.
It’s how you get real and start implementing today rather than waiting for tomorrow. It is how you, as a leader and entrepreneur, stick to what you believe in, regardless of what others say.
Here are some other questions I ask to avoid regret and focus on what is most important:
What would you want people to say at your funeral?
Photo by Samuel Rios on Unsplash
This wonderful question was asked me by my uncle many years ago.
It all comes down to the legacy you want to leave behind, and the memories you want to leave behind.
For example, here are a few things I’d like people to say:
- He understood what was important and remained true to his values.
- He lived each day as if there was no tomorrow.
- He left his family with the love and financial support they require to succeed in life.
When was the last time you spoke to your best friend?
Friendships can fade quickly.
We’re all busy. But here’s what most people don’t realize:
as we age, we regret not staying in touch.
My last conversation with my best friend was a few weeks ago. He lives on the street in front of my house, and I consider myself fortunate that we are so close.
When was the last time you figured out your mum doesn’t have forever to live?
Photo by leah hetteberg on Unsplash
More importantly, what nice things do you want to do for her? What’s her dream vacation that you need to take her on?
This realization hit me three days ago when I got a phone call from my stepdad, and he was crying on the phone… My first thought was that something happened to my mom. (It turned out that her dog died.)
When was the last time you thought about your dreams?
All you have to do is go backward.
- Write down your dreams and figure out how to create the life you want — the life you’ve always desired.
- Consider what it means to be the best version of yourself — and how it feels to be anything less.
- My worst nightmare is as follows:
I’m walking down the beach one day when I notice a man with a child, two dogs, and a lovely wife. I approach him with envious eyes… I recognize myself! The man is the most perfect version of myself. I failed on this planet. That could have been me.
It’s not too late
If you have any regrets, address them right away. Why bother?
“The pain of regret lasts forever,” says Shane Parrish.
How can you start becoming the best version of yourself today?
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This post was previously published on medium.com.
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