Live like you were dying

Good Thursday morning to you. It’s another great day in the week of simple lessons. I was glad to be able to pull from three fairly tales to show great lessons so far this week. When I write these posts each day, I am usually focusing on some things I am going through, thinking about growth I need in a certain area of my own life. I know most people think of life coaches and people in the self-help industry as know-it-all experts. Well we are still learning about life, and I know I have learned a lot about life over the years. Yesterday’s post was one of those I still learn from. Today I want to spread to a subject that I deal with now and probably will till my time on this earth is gone.

This past weekend, something happened with two people I know and have spent time with. I would not say I was close friends with them and we didn’t spend a lot of time hanging out together, but I definitely knew them. Both of them have had an impact on my life over the past ten years. I have sat with them over dinner or drinks on a few occasions, had a few conversations with both of them. And, in the same weekend, both of them “decided” it was time to leave this planet. They moved on. One was late in life – an older man who had lived a full life. The other was a lady who was younger than me. She was an inspiration to all she touched. I’m not going to tell their full stories, but I will give you a few details about each.

Herb was a man who one day felt God had told him to go into a strange mission field, not far from his home. This mission field was to form a ministry to motorcyclists. He did that for the rest of his life. If you ever met Herb, all he asked for was a hug. If you helped in the ministry anywhere, he was the first to say a humble “thank you” for your work in spreading the message. The last time I saw him was last year when a friend of mine, Elton, passed away. Elton was working at the headquarters of the ministry Herb started. I loved to hear Herb talk about his ministry and his love for what was created out of his simple ministry was apparent. On Saturday his walk of service on this earth ended when he went to his heavenly home.

The other person was Cindy. The first time I met Cindy was at a Bible fellowship class at a church I attended in the Dallas area. She had a smile on her face that was contagious; when you were around her, you felt like you needed to have one as well. Through several events with our class I got to spend time with her. When I owned my car cleaning business I cleaned her car on a regular basis.

Over the years we lost contact, then two years ago I ran into her again at a Starbucks while getting coffee. She told me of her round with breast cancer. I had heard of her sickness, but this was the first we were able to talk again. I had coffee with her and she told me all she had been through, and how she was now being asked to speak at events about maintaining her faith through her battle with this disease. On Sunday her battle was finished.

So why am I writing about these people today? Well another old friend wrote me today to tell me they also had a health scare. It reminded me of the song that Tim McGraw sings about living like you were dying. I want to ask you, if you found out this year was your last, what would you change? Would you do some crazy things like skydiving, climbing a tall mountain, maybe even taking an ocean cruise?

When Gwynne’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease, her father retired (he was 65 but had planned to keep teaching a few more years because he loved it so much). They sold their home and moved to the Dallas area to be near Gwynne and her brother. Then they set out to make every moment as valuable as it could be. They took many trips, especially cruises which they had always loved. Now that her mother has died, her dad always says he doesn’t regret a single penny they spent on their travel because it provided so many rich memories he can hold onto now. They lived their lives knowing Eleanor’s time was limited.

In my life, I have plenty of things that I want to do but have not yet done. But If I got news like that, I could still say that I love the life I have lived; I am happy and have no regrets. If I could do it over, I would do a lot of the same things, making some of the same dumb mistakes, I’m sure.

Maybe in your life, you have a goal or a dream that you are chasing really hard. Maybe you are so set on reaching the goals you set for 2011 that you are not really living today. I work many hours to reach for the goals I have and I love the work I do. But I still take the time each Friday night to head out on a motorcycle ride with my friends, to get some dinner and just hang out and chat. Then a few of us head to Starbucks afterwards to have coffee and basically just shoot the breeze. Every few weekends, Gwynne and I hop on our bikes and ride. We head out like we will this weekend to do some fun things, carry a tent and our sleeping bags and camp out. Most nights when we’re home, we get the chance we play a fun game of scrabble with Gwynne’s dad. We enjoy our life, for we know we may not have tomorrow.

So I ask you, are you living the life you want to? Yes you have to work towards your goals; yes you have to do some things that are not fun at this time; yes some of your business deals fall through. We have tenants who have paid rent late, or left and walked out on a lease. We have bills come due when we hope to do something else with the money. It’s called life. But you can still live and enjoy it while it happens. So today’s simple lesson: Live like you were dying.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live the life you always dreamed of, to love what you do and those you share your life with. Start really living each day like you want, soon you will be the RockStar in your world.

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