One day to live

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
Theophrastus
d. 278 B.C.

Take a moment and think about what you would do if you knew you only had one more day to live. Would you act any differently?

How would you relate to and treat your family and friends? Would you show them more respect and concern? Would there be some people you would ignore rather than allow them to waste the precious time you had left? Would there be some past misunderstanding that you would set straight?

What would you do if you had just one more day to live?

Next, consider how you regularly spend your free time. Are you glued to the TV watching the latest reality show? Do you spend minutes or hours on idle gossip? Does social media scrolling dominate your day? Does any of that fulfill you?

Here’s what I really want you to consider. If you knew you had just one more day to live, how would you change the priorities of your life? Would you suddenly focus on what was truly important and ignore a lot of the activities that consume your average day? It doesn’t matter to me what your answer is, but I believe you should be honest with yourself.

You may think this exercise is foolish, but in truth, you can only live today. You can’t live in the future; it isn’t here yet. And although some people spend a lot of their time in the past, they can’t change it. There’s nothing we can do to alter the past, and the future will unfold with circumstances and challenges we can’t anticipate. We can only live today. Life is lived one moment at a time, and today is the only day you have available.

If you really put some thought into the questions I’ve posed, you’ll realize that there are lots of moments when you aren’t truly living today to its fullest. You can’t save life until tomorrow. You can spend your time on unimportant things or you can focus on what truly matters to you.

If you answered my earlier questions and found that you would change your behavior if you only had one day to live, I suggest you give some thought to focusing more on what’s important to you. Today is truly the only day you can live. Make the most of it. Because someday, it will be the last day of your life, and then it will be too late to change.

Today is all there is! Today is the rest of my life.
Og Mandino
1923 – 1996

Copyright © 2020 John Chancellor


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