Image Credit: Adam Gallagher via twitter.com/iamgalla
It’s bizarre how much of our life we spend worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter.
If today was the last day of your life and you were going to be buried in a casket tomorrow, how much of what you are currently worrying about would no longer matter?
A few health scares like the ones I’ve had will make you ask these weird questions to yourself. They are the best questions because they help you put life into perspective and see what matters through a four-by-five picture frame that makes everything outside of it irrelevant and frankly stupid.
Here are my thoughts:
1) Think about someone who is facing a real problem.
Picture the person who has had their partner disappear, filed a missing persons report and been waiting five years for them to show up again. Think about that person and the hurt they would be going through not knowing whether their loved one is dead or alive.
For some, there is no conclusion to that story which means they can never fully move on. How do all your worries feel now?
2) The best careers come from strange places.
We spend so much time worrying about what we will do for work and what work it is that we’ll love. The truth is we will work many careers over our lifetime and the work we love may change.
One minute you might love music like I used to and the next minute you might be in love with writing. If you stop worrying and focus on doing the work, you will see that the best careers come from places you could never imagine.
Many of the people you idolize never knew they were going to go on and achieve what they did, in the field of work they did.
3) Pay attention to your well being.
If your health degrades, your life does at triple the rate.
Meditate, walk, go to the park, travel, feel the grass on your naked feet. All of these things contribute to your well-being and help you escape the vortex of stress that modern-day life brings with it — compounded by all of the worry you throw in for good measure.
4) If you really don’t like it, say no.
Invitations will be plentiful in life. There is zero obligation to say yes to any of them.
It’s better to say no to something you don’t feel compelled to do than saying yes to it and regret the decision later making it that much harder to back out.
5) If it feels hard, do more until it feels easy.
The gym hurts and so does constantly changing careers. But as you do it, your mind grows in the process. A mind that is forced to grow can do things that five years ago looked impossible to you.
6) Learn to give now otherwise you never will (huge missed opportunity).
If you die without experiencing the gift of giving, I’m going to be pissed for you. You will have missed the most important lesson that sounds so corny and may make no sense.
If you don’t give now, then you probably never will. Give advice, coaching, mentorship and compassion to anyone that needs it. Watch how much fulfillment you get from it.
7) You don’t need another car or a bigger house.
Now you’ll have more money so you won’t need to work so hard and can enjoy life. Plus a lot of your worries in life won’t exist.
It’s such a simple hack that can buy back years of your life with this one decision. Be grateful you have a car and don’t feel compelled to endlessly upgrade. Your house is big enough. Your car is definitely good enough if it runs and can get you around town.
8) Quit your complaining.
It serves no purpose. All the time you spend complaining and ruining lives in the process with your negativity could be spent doing something that has value.
Trade your complaining in for a blog, a side-hustle, a romantic partner, a new career or time with your family.
9) Money won’t matter in the end.
Imagine a bank account with a million dollars left in it on the day you die. All that struggle, hard work and pain, and now you can’t spend it. Sacrificing your life for money and postponing truly living for ‘someday’ is a bad idea.
Someday may never come and you could be left holding the empty feeling of digits appearing on the screen of your bank account.
10) Live the moment rather than take a picture of it.
Where do all of these photos you take with your phone end up? A museum? In a picture frame? Those special moments are best enjoyed and you can’t be present for them if you are trying to figure out the best way to take a photo of them.
The photo is never as good as the present moment experience. Most photos we take with our phone are stored in some folder on our computer that we never revisit again.
What really matters:
- Have you experienced love?
- Have you enjoyed your life?
- Did you get to have lots of different experiences?
- Did you help a few people along the way?
- Will you be remembered after you’re gone?
These are the questions to ponder rather than worrying about a whole lot of nonsense that doesn’t matter and won’t be remembered on your last day on planet earth.