If You Die Tomorrow, Will You Have Regrets? Live Like You’re Dying – Because We All Are
Who do you think the best teacher is, dead or alive? Maybe HH The Dalai Lama? Mother Teresa? Gandhi? Mandela?
I don’t think so. I mean, they can all teach us a lot more than the average Joe. We wouldn’t go wrong if we lived our lives according to their tenets, but there’s a far more urgent teacher.
How do you feel when I say that word? Fearful? Shocked? Humoured – maybe you picture the capitalised speech of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld character?
Want to know what I feel when I say it? ALIVE.
Death is what has taught me to feel alive.
It is the one place we are all heading towards. None of us will avoid that destination. It is a place that we don’t want to reach too quickly. Death is the ultimate direction we are heading in.
I get that it’s not pleasant to think about that, but it’s simply a fact of – oh, the irony! – life. If we begin to look upon the end as a prompt for our current behaviour, though, we begin to truly live to the fullest.
The Bucket List
If I told you that you only had a week to live, how would you react? You’d probably give me a list of things you want to do. You’d probably express regrets. Maybe you’d ask for “a few more days.” Are there specific people or activities that you’d make time for during those last seven days?
No doubt the things you list for that week will be things that bring you joy, make you feel satisfied, and fulfil you.
How many of those things do you do every single week, without fail?
Every single month?
Every single year?
Okay, every single… decade?!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find your bucket list has things you’ve not done in years, or never found the time to do. The only prompt to do those things is death.
We are waiting until the final week of our lives to do the things we wish we’d done years ago.
Death isn’t going to give us “just a few more days” – let’s face it, for many of us, it will come completely unannounced. There one minute, gone the next. Death would say, as Michael Singer says in The Untethered Soul, that you’d already had many other days to do those things. You chose not to prioritise them until you realised the guillotine was hanging above you.
Look up. That guillotine is always there.
You are dying from the second that you are conceived.
Every week could be our last, every day. We simply don’t know, but what if we hacked our lives so that we don’t have to fear those final days?
We can choose to live every day as though it is our last in this world. Because one day it will be. If we live with the end in mind, we will prioritise those things that bring us joy and satisfaction. The things that we actually want to spend our time on.
If we are already living our life to the max, we won’t ask death for a few more days. We’d be able to accept that it was our time to leave. Instead of frantically planning the final events of your life or running through your regrets, you’d think back over your life. You’d realise you’d done what you wanted with the time you had.
When we fully acknowledge we are on a constant path to death, we use our time in a way that resonates with who we want to be.
Time is a finite resource in this world. We need to make the most of it.
How could you bring those things that would be on your bucket list into your life now? That question is a massive one that gives you an opportunity to review your life. You don’t know when that guillotine will fall, so what is stopping you from making the most of your life right now?
What are you doing with life? That’s what death asks you.Michael A Singer (The Untethered Soul)
You know that stash of gifts from a previous Christmas you have in the back of your cupboard that you’ve never used? We’ve all got one, right?! What if I told you that life is also a gift? A present that can be taken from us at any time by death. Don’t you want to show respect to that gift, get it out of the closet, dust it off, and make the most of it?
The Discomfort of Death
I know we don’t like talking about death. For years, I’ve been incredibly frightened at the thought of death. I chose not to talk about death. I found it very macabre, very final. I think that was partly because I lacked any spiritual connection back then.
In most formal religions, there is a place where souls go after death. I believe that if we know where we are going, we are more willing to examine the concept of death. In religious texts, death is highlighted frequently. It’s only in real life that we choose to avoid it.
When I embraced the Universe as my version of spirituality, I became willing to see the future in the context of death. I suppose acknowledging there was some kind of future dimension made death feel less final and bleak.
I also used to be convinced that thinking about death in any way would attract it to me. I know how powerful manifestation is and I was desperate not to attract it. However, the more I studied The Law of Attraction, the more I realised the only way to attract death was to fear it. It wasn’t that I was ignoring death, but I was fearing it constantly – every time I saw a car accident, a TV documentary on a plane crash, or a terror attack. I was petrified and that made it more likely I would attract it to me.
Now, I manifest everything into my life that helps me enjoy it before death comes for me. And when it does, I want to be able to be at peace with that. I don’t believe that someday the Universe is going to say, “Oh, look, she’s accomplished all she wanted. And because of that, it’s time to send death for her.”
You’re Never Too Young
I remember one of my other arguments about avoiding death thoughts – there was no point. I was too young to die.
Here’s the thing, none of us are too young to die.
We’re all already dying, in fact.
It’s a fact that people die from day zero to year 123. There’s nothing to say you will be here tomorrow, no matter how old you are.
We face the risk of death every day, in cars, crossing the road, going swimming. Even eating. Every activity we engage in could be our last, no matter how many days we have spent in this world.
We’re never the wrong age to live life with an eye on what we wish to do before we die. Age is not an excuse to avoid thinking about what you want to create before your permanent departure.
We don’t have to like the idea that at some point we are going to cease to be here, but it is the case. We can’t change it.
I am dying right here, right now. So are you, we all are. Given it is unavoidable, why wouldn’t we make death a part of life in order to live our lives better and to the fullest?
We don’t remember that we are dying. The reason people need a bucket list when they’re terminally ill is because they forgot they were dying.
And what happens when we forget that we are dying?
We are not living.
Death is what makes us live.
You can’t have life without death, and vice versa.
Imagine if today, right now, you were living out your bucket list, living out all of those dreams. What is stopping you right now? There is nothing stopping you that you cannot begin to manifest into your life.
Nothing is holding you back from creating your bucket list decades before you die. If there are dreams you have, if there are ways in which you need to impact the world, if there are people you need to help, you can start now.
You need to be able to say that you’re dying to see that you’re living.