Life is fleeting. Single moments swiftly evolve into entire days. Days then become weeks, and weeks become years. Before you know it, your time on Earth is up.
I lost someone close to me last month. Michael was a bright and infectious spirit who will remain etched in my memory forever. It can be hard to escape the shroud of grief, but I take comfort in the following words.
‘When I find myself filling with rage over the loss of a beloved, I try to remember that my concerns and questions should be focused on what I learned from my departed love. What legacy was left which can help me in the art of living a good life?’ (Maya Angelou)
Michael was a doer. He seized each day with zestful enthusiasm, pursuing his aspirations with vigour. His memorial service paid tribute to this, as the endless list of his extraordinary accomplishments and unforgettable stories was shared.
As I listened to the colourful account of Michael’s life, I felt a glowing sense of pride at having known a character with such joie de vivre. He packed so much in to his time on Earth, and he did it all with a smile on his face and a spring in his step.
His legacy? Make the most of every day. There is no time to lose.
How do you want to be remembered?
Imagine that you were to die. Today. A bleak thought, I know, but just consider it for a moment.
How would you be remembered? What would your legacy be? And most importantly, would you be proud of it?
Around ten years ago, British management consultant Roz Savage wrote her own obituary, twice. The first time around, she wrote the obituary as if she were to die that day. The second time around, she wrote the obituary that she actually wanted.
Not long after this, Roz quit her high-powered job in the city, and rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She now holds four world records for ocean rowing, and was named National Geographic’s ‘Adventurer of the Year’ in 2010.
Admittedly, Roz’s story is quite an extreme example. Spending over 500 days alone in a raging ocean encircled by marine beasts may not be everybody’s idea of embracing life.
But the question is a legitimate one. How do you want to be remembered?
Are you fulfilling your potential? Are you making the most of each day? Are you creating the legacy you wish to leave?
It is a familiar scenario. Every one of us has big aspirations. And sure, we will reach them someday. Just not right now.
You see, right now we do not have the financial means. Neither do we have the experience. And we most certainly do not have the time.
We’ve all been there. I most certainly have. Setting ourselves an infinite list of criteria that must be met before we can possibly begin doing what we really want to do.
Yet as I sat in that chapel, listening to the story of Michael’s life, I made a promise to myself. From now on, I would live by his philosophy. No more waiting for the ‘ideal’ conditions. No more surrendering to fear or doubt.
Make the most of every day. There is no time to lose.
‘Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now’. (Goethe)