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5 Life Experiences Before It’s Too Late

"Surreal" was the best way I can describe it. Sunday morning, I sat at a table in the dining area of the “skilled nursing” section of a senior living area helping my dad eat his eggs and bacon breakfast, three weeks post stroke. I was surrounded by total lack of consciousness. Half a dozen hunched over, heads down, staring blindly. Drueling. Snoring. Muttering. Is this what we come to if we live so long? You try to pretend this isn’t real life… or that it may be your life ever… Over the snoring, Joel Osteen’s booming and confident voice eminated from the flat screen TV. Joel implored, “You were created to overcome! You, my friend… are a victor! A winner! An overcomer!” I looked aound, did anyone even understand these words? Was anyone, beside me, cognizant of anything like “overcoming?” Clearly, there comes a time in life when overcoming may mean being able pick up your own fork, recognize a relative or wipe snot from your own nose. Life, right? If they could speak, (didn’t seem they could) what would these seniors say? Say about life and experiencing life before it’s too late? I wondered who these now old people were at one time. What were they like in their 20’s? What did they look like? What were they good at? Might we be friends? And, as my own soon to be 90 dad drifted in and out of sleepiness, I wondered about his life… and about mine. What matters in light of the fact of aging? Of time passing? Of mortality? I thought of a few things I learned from a man I’ve come to love and respsect over the last 6 months. Author and teacher Richard Leider. Just Friday, I heard Richard challenge a corporate team by his life wisdom gleened fro 98 year old Hadza tribal elder when he was sitting around a campfire in Tanzania. “Richard, what are the two most important days in life?” the elder asked. Richard answered the way most would. “The day you are born. And the day you die?” He figured it was a simple question.. “You got the first one right,” said the elder. “The day you were born is very important.” “But the second most important day after the day is not the day you die. It’s the day you find out WHY.” Mark Twain must have heard the same thing.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

I sat surrounded by my now disabled and elderly elders in that dining room and wondered, “What matters?” “Why am I here?” “What matters in light of limited time and health?” Deep thought? Well, not really. Yeah, maybe. But actually a pretty important thought that’s relevant to every single say.

“Why am here?” Or “Why am I still here?”

Not sure how you would answer that. But I feel compelled to be one who asks… and answers these questions. So I wrote down my own list of “5 Life Experiences Before it’s Too Late.” Kind of a bucket list of being. Here’s my 5. Feel free to take any (or all) that relate to you.

1. Experience a real and authentic relationship with my CREATOR.

I’m not talking about second hand stuff. Not even what a preacher preaches. My own relationship with the One who created me. Not abotu any one religoin or rules or how I grew up. I want to know God as well as someone like me can know Him. I want to know God the way I can know a person. And then as I know Him, know why He made me and what He wants from me. And if God loves me, then why? What does He see in me that I may not fully see in myself? And if He’s at work in this world, what’s my part in that big picture? Easy? No. Hasn’t been…. yet.

2. Experience real LOVE for others so they know “I believe in them.”

Do others know I not only love them, but believe in them? Do I see and encourage the best in others around me. Mindy? My sons? Extended family? Friends? Clients? Others? Most wonder if they are loved, loveable and worthwhile. People who changed my life believed in me. What if I help others better know they are something special. I see something in them. I believe in them! Why not do for others what a significant few have done for me? Love them to life.

3. Experience the full expression of my unique GIFTS.

It’s sometimes easier to believe others are gifted than to see it in me. Instead, I choose to believe God didn’t create me with the wrong gifts… He created me to coach, to write, to speak and envision people and teams. No need to compare myself with others. I have unique gifts that can be expressed in my own unique way. Not using and developing gifts to their full expression is a waste. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? Why not take the risk to use them? Fully develop them? Put them out there. So what if some don't care or dont appreciate or like them? So what! And there’s no retirement from the full expression of unique gifts.

4. Experience and enjoy POSITIVITY: My thinking is 100% free from negativity, fear and doubt.

Fear, complaining and negativity act as arch enemy to being fully alive, present and successful. Why accept them? They have no place in my mind or in my life. Since its possible to change my brain, I will use my thoughts to change mine every day.

5. Experience abundant HEALTH for as long as possible.

Healthy lifestyle is not an option. Great diet, exercise and outdoor activity empwer me to become younger each year... At least feel and act younger and more full of energy. It’s not a “someday” thing. It’s now or never! I experience the freedom of overcoming pain and experiencing true pleasure of health each and every day. And to think about these 5 experiences INTENTIONALLY. Experience

  • My Creator.

  • Real Love

  • Unique Gifts

  • Positivity and Freedom from Fear

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