Three separate yet connected events inspired this post.
- An interview on CBC radio, The Current, where several authors including, Neil Parischa, shared the books that changed their lives. Parischa talked about the life expectancy of the average Canadian as being 30,000 days. That got my attention.
- On Monday, I co-presented to a group of first year medical students on homelessness in our city. Before the session began, I chatted with a palliative care doctor who has started a program here in Calgary to deliver palliative care to people dying in homelessness. His passion, his commitment to provide care that respects the individual, treats them with dignity and provides them support in their final days was inspiring.
- A share on FB of an article on CBC Radio on palliative care in the homeless sector in Toronto. (Thank you @NFalvo )
And then, I heard the 30,000 days quote and wondered, what will I do with my remaining days — whatever the number I have left.
What will you do?
By the law of averages, I have used up approximately 2/3rds of my 30,000. Like everyone of my 30,000, the next 10,000 are precious. Filling them with heart-driven purpose is vital to my well-being.
But what about the 2/3rds already used up? How well did I employ them?
Fact is, I cannot change the days past. They are gone. Used up. Spent.
Today is all I have in my bank account. How will I spend it? Because, spend it I must. I can’t save it for a rainy day. I can’t deposit it into some huge cauldron where days not spent are accumulated so that I can get the biggest bang for my buck by using all my days together.
I only have today. How will I fill it with meaning and purpose? How will I inspire the best version of myself today?
How will you?
Here are 3 + 1 ideas to inspire you on living this day of your 30,000 well.
- Say ‘Thank you’ to yesterday.
Gratitude is the seed of joy. Be thankful for everything that appears on your path and in your life. No matter how dark or grim, no matter how bright and shiny, be present to the opportunity to experience it by acknowledging everything as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to become. And remember, just because something appears on your path, doesn’t mean you have to keep it there or pick it up or hold onto it forever. It simply means, it’s on your path — what you do with it is your choice. Choose compassionately.
2. Let yesterday go.
Whatever you did, or didn’t do, whatever embarrassing moment, hurt or slight you perceived/received, let it go. Holding onto slights from the past will not improve the quality of your life today. It will only get in the way of living today freely. (And yes, I know. They were mean. They didn’t hear you. They didn’t care for you the way your deserve. You cannot change what happened, just as you cannot change what they did. You can change how you hold on to it, how you respond. Find a way to respond that sets you free of carrying someone else’s stuff.) And if you caused someone pain or hurt, acknowledge it, apologize, make amends, commit to doing better and let it go.
3. Live today free of guilt.
A friend was telling me how they feel so guilty about the fact they have….. and then they listed the beautiful things in their life. Later, another friend was telling me about how guilty they feel about something they’d done to someone else that they knew they shouldn’t have done. They’d already apologized but the guilt was killing them, they said.
Guilt is just a way of staying trapped in the ego. Guilt keeps you roiling around in the past, preventing you from living compassionately, authentically, lovingly in today. Guilt is not your friend. It’s the enemy of joy. It’s the killer of hapiness. Make the decision today to let go of guilt. To get out of your ego’s desire to be the centre of attention (good or bad) and set yourself free to live in this moment right now unburdened of guilt. You can’t change whatever was done to you, or whatever you did. You can change its hold on your joy and appreciation of this moment right now. Let guilt go.
Whatever days we each have, living them as if each one counts is what matters most. Because everyday counts. Every moment creates the possibility of the next being filled with the more of what you want in your life — what ever that is.
Which leads me to the +1 idea.
4. Whatever you do today, make sure it creates ‘the more’ of what you want more of in your life.
Whatever you are faced with today, choose to do the things that bring you closer to your ‘more’. In your ‘more’ is where your passion lives.