I recently found out why one of my friends hadn’t been responding to my messages. She was terribly sick, wanted to keep it a secret, and had passed away from a brain tumor. I also found out that she knew about her brain tumor and its risks when we last spent time together. I’m truly glad we were able to create lasting memories. She passed away at the age of 29.
I’d like to share a excerpt on our moments in life from Victor Cheng. It reminded me of my friend. It reminded me of my values and my priorities in life, and the need to act now because each passing minute is an opportunity to act.
Letter from Victor Cheng:
Earlier this month, I received news that my grandmother was in her final hours of life. I flew out to Asia to try and say goodbye one last time before she passed away.
She died a few hours before my flight landed.
The prior month, one of my uncles lost his battle with cancer.
The last two months have been emotionally unsettling for me.
Anytime I discover news that someone in my life has died, I am left with a reminder that life on earth is short.
It does not last forever.
It serves as a reminder to live life to the fullest while you still can.
It is a reminder that playing it safe means making it to your funeral without disruption.
It means recognizing that opportunities to do something special, to create a lifetime memory, do not present themselves every day.
If there is an opportunity to do something remarkable — something you’ll always remember — but it’s inconvenient to do so, do it anyway.
Do not assume you can do it tomorrow or next time.
Sometimes there is no next time.
If you were reading my articles two years ago, you might recall that I flew to Asia to visit my grandmother back then.
It was an incredibly inconvenient trip.
I flew all night, got off the plane, and spent 20 waking minutes with her in the hospital. Then I essentially turned around and went back to the airport to fly home.
I flew half way around the world for a 20-minute meeting with my grandmother. At the time, I was aware it might be the last time I would see her alive.
In those 20 minutes, I saw her eyes light up and she had a big smile on her face. Even though she was no longer able to speak, I could tell she was excited to see me.
She ate a lollipop while I held her hand. It would turn out to be one of life’s memorable moments for me — and perhaps for her too.
It was ridiculously impractical and inconvenient for me to take that trip at the time. I decided to do it anyway.
I don’t recall the specific hassles involved, but I do remember that special moment with my grandmother.
It’s my belief that on your death bed, you will remember the remarkable moments of your life.
You will have forgotten about the inconvenient moments that preceded and followed the remarkable ones.
It’s also useful to keep in mind that some of life’s greatest moments are shared with other people.
Notice the people in your life with whom you’d be honored to share a life memory.
Spend time with those special people in your life.
When you are spending time with the right people, you can be doing nearly anything and it will be enjoyable.
Spend time with the wrong people in your life, and you can turn even the best activities into a waste of time.
The right people in your life matter… a lot.
In addition, don’t forget to dream.
If you have a dream, chase it.
You don’t have to chase it at the expense of everything else, but chase your dream in some way a little every day.
Chase it not because you will succeed, and it will therefore be worth it. Chase your dream because “win” or “lose,” it will be exciting and invigorating to try.
There’s a phrase that describes this approach to living.
It’s called being ALIVE.
Anything less is merely surviving.
Will you be spending the rest of today truly living, or just surviving?