As I lay in turmoil on my death bed, surrounded by the silence of partitioning friends and family, three important thoughts came to mind. These very thoughts never dictated my life. Of course you could say I was naive, but having something dictate your life is a lot like giving in to mass religion. Sure. It gives you an identity. But the best identity is the one you design yourself.
These three thoughts are the very criteria that proved to me that I had developed an identity throughout my life. They were questions that I asked myself on my death bed.
1. Did I Live?
Live an oscar worthy moment every day of the limited time you have on this planet of limitless opportunities. Try. It isn’t too difficult. These opportunities are so profound when you are young, yet degrade as you decay to your death. Travel much, laugh often. Share yourself with the world, and be fearless. Fear is resistance, and is something made by us to limit us.
2. Did I Love?
Love family. Love your friends. Love your significant other, love your life partner. But above all, love yourself. If you do not, how can you expect others to? Nearing death, I learned immediately, if there is such thing as a best friend in this world, it would be you. YOU, would be your own best friend, because only you can keep yourself moving forward on that path to success. Inversely, you are also your own worst enemy, because only you can hate and spite yourself. Only you can limit your potential and inhibit your growth. Love yourself. It is unconditional and free. It is limitless and boundless. If there is anything in this world that is infinite, it is the capacity to love.
3. Did I Matter?
Having a legacy, not as a person, but as an icon is forever. It is the only thing that makes you immortal. I asked myself, “would the world have been a better or worse place without my presence?” Ask yourself this every day. Never attach yourself to objects or people, rather attach yourself to ambitions and values. Attach yourself to the intangibles and you will live forever. Your impact will be remembered forever. You will have left a legacy. You will have mattered.
Remember, life isn’t tied with a bow, but it is still a gift. No matter how much life gets you down, get up, dress up, and show up. Don’t save the good stuff for a special day.
Today is special.
As you make your New Years resolutions, perhaps rather than something simplistic such as “Lose weight” or “get good grades”. Try setting three goals that only you can measure.
Say that this year,
I Will Live.
I Will Love.
I Will Matter.
And take it from there.