I never got to…
- Live in Europe.
- Sit front row at Paris Fashion week.
- Watch the ball drop in Times Square on NYE.
- Experience the energy of the crowd in a World Cup game.
- Enjoy Thai food on the beaches Thailand.
- Feed a baby tiger.
- Go on a safari in Africa.
- Start a dog rescue foundation.
“Life is just too short”. This phrase is almost always said when a life is cut too short. Usually by those affected by the loss of a friend, family member or even a public figure. They think of all the things that that person never got to do: He never got to travel. She never got to experience living life at the beach. They never got to see the Swiss Alps. They usually continue into an introspective look at how they are living their life. They look at all the things they could have, would have, should have done and want to do in the future. They emphatically state that they will start to live their life for today, so in the end they’ll have no regrets. Sadly, often after some time passes, they’ve mourned the loss and the fire inside them dwindles to a few burning embers. Nothing changes. They are no closer to accomplishing those dreams they contemplated so deeply just a brief time ago. Life has just gone on, business as usual. Until of course, they are affected is another tragedy or loss. And then the cycle repeats.
In life, we all experience many tragedies. Some personal, a death of a husband, parent or best friend. Some not so personal, yet still emotional, think Michael Jackson, JFK or Natalie Holloway. I can’t help but asking why people don’t take the proverbial bull by the horns and do something? Change their lifestyle, follow their dreams and really live their life for today? Maybe it’s because the person feels like that ship has sailed. They don’t have the time. They don’t have the money. They have kids. My favorite, they’re too old. The list of why someone doesn’t do something is almost endless. And most of the time, the only thing standing between you and your dreams is you.
(As an aside…for all of those who think they’re too old for something…watch this video of Lou Batori still skiing at 100 years old.)
This cycle has gotten me thinking; if I was told I only had a few days left in this life, what would I be thinking that “I never got to…”. What would those regrets be? What are the things that I really would love to do in my life? What are the things that I really want to accomplish? Where do I want to live, travel to? What are the things that I really want to experience? What are the things that would be plaguing me if I had not done?
Thankfully, I innately have a zest for life. In my short 32 years on this planet, I’ve done most of what I’ve wanted to do and I have goals set for the rest. Honestly, the reason that Rob and I created Jet Set Life’s motto “Excuses are over. It’s time to live!” was to inspire people to live each and every day as if there was no tomorrow. In other words, do more things that you love to do and less things that you don’t.
Of course, easier said than done and yes, there is a bit of exaggeration there. Obviously, if there was no tomorrow, I honestly wouldn’t be eating baked chicken and grilling veggies for dinner. I wouldn’t be doing laundry. I wouldn’t be worried about getting to bed by ten-o’clock so I can wake up early for my workout. On the surface, it could look like I’m not following my own motto, as these things are not the things that I love to do. However, something that I love to do is compete in fitness competitions. One of my short-term goals is to place in the top 5 at an upcoming fitness competition. Eating baked chicken and veggies, having clean workout clothes and being well rested for my six-o’clock morning workout is necessary for reaching that goal.
The point is, there has to be a balance in your life. A balance between the mundane day-to-day tasks that must be done, you know, the ones that you don’t enjoy and the things that you love to do. My suggestion would be to make sure that you schedule at least one thing that you love to do into each and every day. It could be small like taking a bubble bath or reading a book. I also encourage you to change it up. Don’t let life get stale. Also, every day, commit yourself to taking one step toward accomplishing a larger goal or dream. Make sense? Now, it’s time to find out what these “I never got to…” goals are!
Here’s your homework.
Tonight, with a clear mind and your eyes closed. Imagine yourself being told your life was coming to an end. Really try to feel to think of what that would feel like to you.
Now, fill in the blank- “I never got to ________.”
Write down your thoughts as they come to you. Once you’re done, look at your list. Now, it’s action time. Instead of making excuses, saving these for later in life or giving up all together because you “think you’re too old”, commit to reaching one of these dream this year. Put it on your vision board, add it to your action list- really what ever system you have for goal planning. The point is, don’t forget about it. Work toward it every day. Don’t give up as it is true what they say, “Life is too short.”. So- what are you going to do with yours?
You never know how sharing your goals can impact someone’s life. I encourage you to share your “I never got to…” list in the comments section of this blog.
Need a little added inspiration? Check out my previous blog on The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.