What does it take to make you appreciate your life? And what does it take to make you realize you need to make some changes in your life? What does it take to make you live fully and fulfill your potential?
Do you need to have a big wake-up call, like a near-death experience or a major illness? Do you need to lose a job or have someone close to you die? Or do you just need a little scare, like a doctor telling you to come back in for a second mammogram or a biopsy—and then finding out nothing is wrong?
My Wake-Up Call
Yesterday, I got the call saying I had to go back for that diagnostic mammogram plus an ultrasound. Was I scared? Yes. I went for the appointment today, and it turned out to be nothing. Just a cyst. But it made me think about all the things I should be doing to take better care of myself, all the things I’m just not doing that I would like to be doing, and all the things I might not have accomplished any time soon had I gotten sick or at all had I died earlier than I expected.
That was a wake-up call.
Living with Death on Your Shoulder
Author Carlos Castaneda wrote about living with death on your shoulder. There’s something to be said for how that type of consciousness breeds an awareness of life and an appreciation for how it can be taken away in a moment. It also creates a sense of gratitude for every moment we are alive.
Mostly we take life for granted. We assume we’ll be here tomorrow and the next day and the next.
Change Your Consciousness
Today, ask yourself:
- What would I regret not doing if I discovered I didn’t have long to live?
- What potential within myself might I regret never realizing if I got sick or died?
- What difference would I like to make in the world or in other people’s lives before I die?
Now make a list of those things you can actually do immediately, and begin placing them on your daily to-do list. Make another list of the things you can do in the future, and create an action plan for how to do them.
Also, make a list of all the things and people you feel grateful for. Begin practicing gratitude every evening and every morning. Become conscious of the gift of life.
Let me know how this changes your life.