Death is an interesting thing – it’s part of life, it happens to everyone, yet most of us fear it so bad. So bad that talking about death becomes weird. It’s almost like we think that by avoiding the topic, we will avoid death. But the reality is that death is one of the few guarantees we have in life. We all die.
However, this is not a post about how sad it is that we all die, it is a post about how we can use this knowledge to live a fulfilling and joyful life. So stay with me. I know there will be a takeaway for you, it will vary for everyone. Take what serves you and ignore the rest. That should be your motto when reading anything!
One week ago life was normal, everyone was doing their thing and we were busy, busy, busy. I didn’t think much when I was told a family member went into the hospital. I figured it would be a short visit.
As the week progresses things seemed to complicate. And today we don’t know if he will make it.
It reminds me of a conversation my mom had with my cousin a long time ago, when she was a mother of 2 young children. My cousin and her husband were telling us that they made a plan to work hard for the next 10 years so they could retire early and enjoy life with their kids, travel and do things that made them happy.
When we make plans like this we forget that life is not forever… A few years after that she was diagnosed with cancer and lived very sick for 5 years before she died; never being able to fulfill her plan.
Life is fragile, sometimes things come to an end before we want them to, before we feel ready… some things are just out of our control and instead of fighting it, we should embrace it.
One guaranteed you have is today. This moment right now, while you are reading this, you are alive, you are here, this is what you have.
This is the moment to choose joy, to do something that makes you happy, to make sure you never go to bed feeling like your day sucked because even in those few minutes before you fall asleep you CAN do something joyful.
Life is not about working a 9-5, all day, every day. Yes, it is part of life for most but it is not the ONLY part of life. We are here to experience joy, to do things that bring us happiness and happiness is found in the every day little things.
Happiness is a state of being. Have you ever thought why some people seem to be so miserable when their life looks pretty great? Or wondered how can someone who’s struggling so much financially seem so happy? It is because happiness is not external nor influenced by outside circumstances, happiness is internal.
We can let our outer world influence our inner world or we can let it not to. The choice is yours. And only yours.
Happiness is today, right now. There’s no huge secret to being happy, you choose to be happy and make it happen or you don’t. You don’t need to do something special, go somewhere special or buy something special, you can just decide to feel happy right this minute and decide that every minute of your day; every single day.
And when life throws you a curb-ball or you run into someone who’s trying to pick a fight with you, you remind yourself to choose happiness.
Do this regularly, until it becomes easy, until it becomes a habit to choose happiness, to find happiness in the little every day things. Because when you focus on what brings you joy, life brings you more of that.
“Live like today is your last day.”
We’ve all heard this a million and one times and sometimes we forget to truly stop and read these worlds.
A week ago my relative was fine and today we won’t know if he’ll be here tomorrow.
This quote is a reminder of that. Life can end tomorrow. All you and I have is today. How are you going to choose to spend this time?
I remember when I heard this phrase, “Live like today is your last day”, sometimes I would think, “well, I would quit my job if today was my last day but that’s just stupid because I need to make a living”. I think most of us have felt this way at some point. And since we simply don’t know when is our last day, we need to find a way to live a life that can support us financially while we make it a priority to do things that bring us joy. Every day.
If you do something that brings you joy, you will feel happy. In turn those around you will respond to this happiness, it might even inspire them to do something joyful, which will make them feel happier, they might spread this happiness to one of their friends, and so the happiness keeps spreading.
I get asked a lot how do you explain to someone that how they’re parenting is wrong? And you don’t. I have learned that anyone who is not ready to listen, will not hear what you’re saying. So what can you do? Be true to yourself and lead by example.
If you want to help a friend feel happy, start by taking yourself to a happy state.
If you believe that parenting your children without yelling is more effective, keep on doing that and when someone notices it and asks you about it, you will know they’re ready to listen.
If you believe that eating healthy is better for our health, you eat healthy and when your friend is ready to hear more, they will ask about your diet.
To change the world, we have to be the change we want to see.
-Adaptation from a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.
If you want to see more happiness in your life, it starts with you. All you can focus is on YOU. Be happiness, even when it gets dark. Be happiness until most of your surroundings reflect that back to you.
And don’t wait “until you retire” to do this or that. Life is right now. Life is today. Make plans for the future but know that life can change overnight. Remember that life may bring you a different path, a better one, but different than you planned. Planning is okay, sticking to your plans like they’re set in stone is not okay.
Make plans but live right now. Do not think “you’ll be happy when…”, because you will not. You need to find the joy right now, in this moment, right this minute.
When you do that enough times, happiness will become your new norm and you will be enjoying your life more and more. And so if one day you find out you might die the next day, it won’t matter because you truly enjoyed this life.