By Sam Whitaker
- We’re all guilty of letting life take us for a stressful ride, rather than focussing on making life as happy & fulfilling as possible
- You don’t want to get to the end and wish you could have done things differently
- Sam Whitaker shares his wisdom on how to live a happy & fulfilling life
When you lose someone close to you, a family member or close friend, it really changes your perspective on things.
You realise just how precious life is and that time is your most valuable asset, not money or material possessions.
"Some people are so poor all they have is money"
It teaches you that you should spend more of your time, money & energy collecting moments & memories, not things; the biggest house, latest gadget or fastest car.
What a shame it would be to grow old with fancy cars on the driveway and a house full of the latest gadgets, only to have never travelled, never tried anything new or never have great memories with loved ones.
There are only so many more tomorrows and you don't know how many you have left.
I think it's important, to really live in the moment and take each day as it comes.
Don't put things off for a future you might not have.
There's a well-known saying that goes something like 'live each day as if it's your last'.
I'm not sure I agree 100% with it, but I appreciate the sentiment and I think you should always bare it in mind, while not taking it too literally.
Because, let’s face it, if it were really your last day on Earth, you'd probably do something crazy, a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
Obviously, you couldn't do that every day, but what can you do?
Don’t waste time doing things you hate!
Granted, there's times you have to do things you don't like but you should never do things you hate.
If you hate your job, find a new one.
If you hate where you live, move.
If you hate your life, do something to change it.
Only you have the power.
If you're reading this, then you're in a very privileged position, in the grand scheme of things.
I mean, 750 million people don't have access to clean drinking water!
Just let that sink in.
750 million people don't have access to clean drinking water, let alone have the job opportunities and living conditions that most in the developed world are fortunate to have.
So, if you hate your job, then what are you doing about it?
I used to be the kind of person that always looked to the future, always had a plan.
And while I do still make plans, set goals & think of the future, I'm more & more aware that you need to make the most of today.
I now think less of the future and try to live more in the moment.
I try to jump at more opportunities than I used to, instead of putting it off for future plans, because you don't know if that future even exists.
So, if you enjoy spending time doing something, do it.
Focus on today!
You might not get chance to do it next week, month or year.
That's not to say you should live recklessly, far from it.
I like to look after myself and plan to live to a healthy 100+ years old.
But not everything goes as planned.
So, you need to make the most of the time you have on this Earth.
Spend more time doing things you love.
Spend more time with people that make you smile and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
"If you admire somebody, you should go ahead and tell 'em. People never get the flowers while they can still smell 'em" - Kanye West
In December 2012, I got a phone call as I left work to tell me that my best friend had been killed in a tragic accident at work.
I couldn't believe it.
It just didn't really sink in.
I mean, you don't expect anything like that to happen to someone you know.
That's not something that you really ever get over. It changes you forever. It's something you carry with you every day.
He would have been 30 this year, on 22nd Oct.
But he's not around to celebrate it.
When I celebrate my 30th birthday in December, I'm sure I'll be asked how it feels turning 30.
My answer? Find out on the next page…
I felt lucky to be alive!
Not everyone gets to celebrate their 30th birthday, so I will feel very fortunate to be able to.
"Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many." - Mark Twain
It's a shame that it takes something like this to happen to change your perspective in this way.
But if you can take anything positive from something as devastating as losing someone close to you, it's that it makes you appreciate things more than before, even the little things.
Make sure you take time to appreciate the little things in life, as you'll come to realise that they were actually the big things.
Whether it simply be a meal with the family on sunny Wednesday evening, or a simply sitting on the settee under a blanket watching TV with someone you enjoy spending time with.
They may seem relatively inconsequential things on the face of it, but take time to really appreciate them and realise just how lucky you are.
You never know what day will be your last.
While this might be a dark, sobering thought, it's can actually be a positive and uplifting one.
We're all guilty of taking things and people for granted.
We take for granted all the little things that make our lives as comfortable and happy as they are.
"When you’re talking to someone, listen to them very carefully as if that is the last time you’ll ever hear their voice again"