SerenDestiny #71: Are You Doing What You Really Want With Your Life? If Not, It’s About TIME

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
I don’t think it’s morbid to think of our mortality; I think it’s motivating.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “Perhaps we never really appreciate anything until it’s challenged.”
She’s right. We tend to take life for granted

This was never more evident than in the unexpected event that happened to a friend.

Sue is a high-level negotiator who mediates contracts between multi-million dollar organizations.

She was doing a rare team-teaching and went to bed early the night before the program because she was exhausted and needed to re-charge for the big day.

Her team teacher called around 9 pm and Sue’s daughter picked up the phone.

“Can I talk to Sue please? I’ve got some questions about our presentation tomorrow.”

“Actually, my mom went to bed early. She wasn’t feeling well.”

Instead of getting the hint, the team teacher said, “I really need to speak to her.”

Sue’s daughter came back with, “I don’t want to wake her. She needs the sleep.”

Instead of backing down, the team teacher persisted. (She later said it wasn’t like her to insist when diplomatically being told “no” – but somehow she knew this was important.)

Sue’s daughter relented. She went to wake up her mom and discovered she was in a … COMA. Sue had had an adverse reaction to a new medication and was unconscious.

Thankfully, Sue’s daughter immediately sprung into action. She called 911 and an ambulance was there in minutes. The EMT’s began emergency procedures to revive Sue on the way to the hospital.

In the middle of all this, Sue was having the out-of-body experience you may have heard about from other people who have “died” and come back.

Sue was “above it all” watching the medical team try to revive her.

Sue experienced the bright light that exuded an all-encompassing love, peace and serenity that transcended description.

She saw her loved ones who had already passed … on the other side of a body of water.

She was given a choice. She could join her loved ones on the other side of the water… or she could come back and take care of her daughter.

Sue chose to come back and take care of her daughter.

When Sue was telling our small group this story over dinner, she said one of the enduring memories of that experience was the ludicrousness of time.

She said, looking back on earth, we all look like ants, frantically rushing to and fro.

Busy, busy. Anxious. Angry. Impatient. Always behind. Always frustrated. Never enough time.

She said, “From that perspective, you see the silliness of it all. The senselessness of it all. You want to take it back. You want a do-over.

Like Emily in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, you just want to go back and be grateful for the glory of a normal day.

You long for a second chance to make every moment matter, every day count.

Want good news?

We DO have a second chance for a do-over … right here, right now.

We can look around and appreciate that we’ll never have more time than we have right now to do the things that really matter to us.

What’s that for you?  What would make your days more satisfying? More meaningful?

i am going to be sure to take time and make time for the people I love.

I am going to imprint and appreciate each new day that I wake up healthy and with the freedom and autonomy to to do work I love that matters with people I enjoy and respect.

I am going to take responsibility to do one thing every day that sets my SerenDestiny in motion – something that adds value for all involved and that puts the light on in my eyes.

And I am going to write every single day.  Even if it’s for a half hour.  Even if I’m consulting all day, on the road speaking or hosting a strategic retreat.
Gertrude Stein said, “Writing is the only thing I do – that when I’m doing it – I don’t want to be doing anything else.”
I wouldn’t quite say that (!) – although I do agree that writing gives us a way to live life twice.
Writing gives our days added purpose.  It is a way to make everything we experience more meaningful.
It’s a way to see, hear or do something, and then immediately step back and ask, “Where’s the metaphor?  The universal application?  How can this go into a blog, book or presentation so this can add insight or inspiration for others?”
So, what would make your days more satisfying? What’s your “Paulo Coelho Priority” that would make your time well spent?
Imagine how happy you will be looking back at this year if you commit a half hour a day to doing what puts the light on in YOUR eyes.
Imagine how happy you will be that you no longer put off your “Paulo Coelho Priority,” that you took responsibility for making your days what you want them to be now, not someday.
Anne Sexton said, “How you live your days is, of course, how you live your life.”
This has been my half hour to make today more meaningful … what’s yours?
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