Live Like You're Dying (Even When You're Not)

We’re all guilty. 

Guilty of slogging through our morning routines, trudging through the usual workday, and coming home to spend our evenings the exact same way we did the night before. 

Don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing inherently wrong with living this way. That is, if you’re completely satisfied with every aspect of your life - health, wealth, happiness, etc. 

If so, consider yourself lucky. If not, then it’s time to start making some changes. 

We all get caught up in our routines and weeks, months and even years pass by in what feels like an instant. And when it’s all said and done, no one wants to look back on their life and think, “If only I would have…”

Guess what? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A simple phrase to help reframe the way you look at how you spend your time. 

You’re Alive Now - Start Acting Like It!

Not sure what I’m talking about? No problem. Let’s break it down in a couple easy steps. 


Let’s face it. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily hubbub of life. There’s errands to run, bills to pay and (of course) family to take care of. And what about trying to squeeze in a little relaxation time here and there? Sometimes it all feels like a high-speed merry-go-round that never stops.

But what if we changed our attitudes? What if instead of focusing on the busyness and lack and frustration of our existence, we focused on the joy of it instead? The little moments that pop-up everyday and bring a smile to our face and warmth to our hearts. 

Like taking time out from doing housework, or surfing the web, to play catch with our kids. Or leaving work early one day in order to go hiking with friends. Or turning off the TV and taking a long walk with a loved one. 
Because all that other stuff can wait. The dishes will still be there when you get back. Facebook will be just fine without you (trust me). And no matter how hard you try, there’s a never-ending supply of work that has your name on it. 

But time spent with family, or learning a new hobby, or pursuing a goal, well, these amazing moments are usually in short supply. Make sure you have plenty of them stored up for the point in life when you aren’t able to make anymore. 


A lot of us say we’ll do this - or try that - when “the time is right.” We’ll write that book, take that dream vacation, or finally get back in shape. 

And yet, it never seems to happen. Another year passes, and we’re no closer to achieving our goal than we were before. 

There is a way, however, to break this cycle. A simple first step towards accomplishing our big dreams and making our goals a reality. 

It’s called taking action. 

Begin by making a list of all the things you want to do in life, and then prioritize each goal based on how satisfying it will be to accomplish them. Once you’re done, figure out the first step (even if it’s a tiny one) you can take to get there - and then go do it! 

Continue the process and you’ll find yourself quickly building the momentum you need to carry you across the finish line. 

Will it be easy? Probably not. But that’s what makes accomplishing a dream worthwhile. Stretching ourselves is what allows us to grow and discover the talents we never knew we had. 


One definition of the word dream says “to contemplate the possibility of doing something.” That means when people say they’ve “always dreamed of” doing this or that, what they’re really saying is that they’ve thought about it...but probably haven’t done much else. 
Usually, the main reason people don’t take action is because they don’t have a plan. The plan is key - because it’s what is going to take you from point A to point B and allow you to survive all the potholes in-between. 

So how could you take that dream vacation with your family? Buy that new car? Or start on a different career path? Experts say one of the best methods is to start from the finish line and work your way back. 

Where do you actually want to take that vacation? How much will it cost to get there? When do you plan on going? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can work backwards to figure out how much you need to save each month in order to get there.

Remember to start small - very small. Break each task down into sub-tasks. Then do it again. And again. Until you can’t break them down anymore. Doing so will remove many of the barriers that might otherwise prevent you from getting started. You’ll also gain a sense of accomplishment completing tasks knowing that you’re making progress towards your ultimate goal. 


Ever feel like you shelved a dream only because you didn’t know how others would react to it? Because you thought your friends or family wouldn’t like the idea? Because you thought they might call you crazy?

Sure you have. Most all of us have been there at some point in our lives. We say things like, “I’m too old. I could never do that.” Perhaps it was just the opposite, “I’m too young. No one would ever take me seriously.” Or my personal favorite - “I’m not smart enough. I don’t have the talent. I’m just not ready.“

These are the lies we tell ourselves on a daily basis. Why? Because we think we need to fit into some kind of predetermined mold that the rest of the world has created for us. 

Guess what? You don’t.

Is it nice if those around you support your ideas and share your vision? Absolutely. We all want others to be behind our dreams. But do you need their approval to make it happen? No way!

You don’t need anyone else’s permission to chase your goals, live your dreams, or do what makes you happy. 

If you live your life waiting for others to approve of everything you do, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be carrying a suitcase full of regrets later in life.  

Don’t put it off. Figure out what makes you happy. Right now, today - and then go do it. 


There’s one final ingredient you need for this magical recipe of a fulfilled life. To make all the other steps work in harmony to accomplish your goals. The glue that binds it all together.

Whatever you do - however you choose to do it - commit to giving it everything you’ve got. 

This is where most go awry. They have the best of intentions, make their plans, but they don’t follow through. When things get the least bit uncomfortable, they fold. They give in. They quit. And all the promise that lay before them is lost. 

Those who live successful, rewarding lives are the ones that know where they want to go, figure out how to get there, and then burn the bridge behind them so there’s no going back. They act with purpose and keep laser-like focus on their goals until they achieve them. 

It’s not that successful people are better than anyone else. Or smarter. Or somehow “luckier”. No. They’re just more disciplined. They know the road isn’t going to be easy, and there will be setbacks along the way, but if they commit to putting forth the effort - they’ll surely see the results. 

Are you that kind of person?


Are you happy with where you are? Where you’re going? Where you’ve been? If not, take some time to consider what it is that you really want to accomplish in life while you still have the time to do it. 
Make a plan for your success. Start small and celebrate each little victory as you go. Use this momentum to propel you forward and keep accomplishing bigger tasks as time goes on. Before you know it, you will arrive at your destination and be ready for the next great adventure. 

Lastly, give it all you’ve got. It’s okay to fail sometimes. To not be able to finish what you’ve started. Michael Jordan famously said that he “missed over 9000 shots in his career.” But he also admitted that this was the very same reason that he succeeded. Because he never lost his focus, his drive, or his ambition. 

When you look back on your life, it’s okay to admit you weren’t able to accomplish everything you set out to. Just don’t let the reason behind the results be from lack of effort. 

Now get out there and start living... like you’re dying. 

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