In the midst of a normal Saturday somewhere between downdogs and warrior poses, our brothers and sisters in Hawaii were faced with an extreme dose of reality on their phones and across the airwaves, "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
How quickly our lives can change from one second to the next. I can only imagine the sense of dread for someone hearing this in the face of danger. Thankfully we now know it was a mistake, human error. The events of Saturday, brought to my mind words spoken by a buddhist Nun in meditation class, "I could die today." For some, that might sound morbid, but it's a fact. Tomorrow is never promised. The phrase is not meant to be morbid but to get us thinking about what we focus on in our life. What really matters?
Earlier in December, I wrote about the importance of transitions in our daily lives, Lost in Transition. Reflecting on the events of Saturday, I began to look the focus of the past few days. How mindful had I been with my thoughts, words, actions and energy. Have you ever known someone who had a life changing experience? Did you notice how their appreciation for life shifted after that experience? I think about the day my Dad passed unexpectedly. He didn't know it was his last day, but when we talked that day I could hear joy in his voice for the simple things in life, his purple martin house and spending time with friends. My Dad's passing caused a huge shift in my life when it comes to where I focus my time and effort. It caused me to stop being what others expected me to be and opened me up to become myself for the first time in 41 years. It has been an amazing journey for 7 years and it will continue to be for the rest of my life.
When I think about the words, "I could die today", my mind immediately shifts to the important things in my life. I don't care about the clutter of my son's belongings taking over my space. If today were my last day, I wouldn't spend my time worrying about things I can't control, like other people's opinions or bad behavior. Would the weather matter if today were my last day? No.
Look, I believe we are all doing the best we can with what we know. The truth is, there are days that are a struggle. It's going to happen. They key is not to stay stuck there. If you are spending your time complaining or worrying, you are wasting your time! Time that can be used to live and love! If today were my last day, would there be any benefit in raising my voice to someone, especially someone I care about? Would there be any benefit to posting a mean comment about someone else's beliefs? NO! None of that matters. What matters? Did I live? Did I love? Did I Matter? These are the words from Brendon Burchard after a nearly fatal accident. The fact is, we never know when it's our time. So how do you want to spend your precious time? I certainly don't want to waste time on pet peeves, complaining and first world irritations. How about you?
I will leave you with the advice from the buddhist nun, create a trigger before you begin your day, maybe a sign by the door or a notification on your phone. "If today was my last day..." triggering your mind to really consider how you will show up in your day and what will truly matter.