What matter most PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 October 2010 14:32

A pile of books sits beside my computer keeping me company and silently observing my determined attempts at coming up with something fitting for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Both days are fast approaching.

Since watching Angelina Jolie take on the character of Lanie in the movie Life or Something Like It which aired on Channel 39 two nights ago, I had been relentlessly poring over my materials for something insightful about life and death.  Although Jolie’s big and fluffy white hair in the movie proved rather distracting, her poignant reminder for us to “live each day as though it were our last because one of these days it will be” stuck and struck deeply. That one line set the tone for my week and triggered this search, ultimately leading me again to Richard Carlson who writes this article:

Imagine Yourself at Your Own Funeral

“This strategy is a little scary for some people but universally effective at reminding us of what’s most important in our lives.

When we look back on our lives, how many of us are going to be pleased at how uptight we were? Almost universally, when people look back on their lives while on their deathbed, they wish that their priorities had been quite different. With few exceptions, people wish they hadn’t “sweated the small stuff” so much. Instead, they wish they had spent more time with the people and activities that they truly loved and less time worrying about aspects of life that, upon deeper examination, really don’t matter all that much. Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.

While it can be a little scary or painful, it’s a good idea to consider your own death and, in the process, your life. Doing so will remind you of the kind of person you want to be and the priorities that are most important to you. If you’re at all like me, you’ll probably get a wake-up call that can be an excellent source of change.

In another article, Carlson continues, “The truth is, none of us has any idea how long we have to live. Sadly, however, we act as if we’re going to live forever. We postpone the things that, deep down, we know we want to do…We come up with elaborate and sophisticated rationales to justify our actions, and end up spending most of our time and energy doing things that aren’t at all that important. We argue for our limitations, and they become our limitations…”

Thus, he concludes, “Live each day as if it were your last on earth. I suggest this not as a prescription to be reckless or to abandon your responsibilities, but to remind you how precious life really is. A friend of mine once said, “Life is too important to take too seriously.”

I wish I can add more to what Carlson says, but I guess, he’s got all the essentials covered.  I’ll therefore leave it at that and let you ponder over his words during the long weekend. Maybe if you allow yourself to, you’ll come out of the experience with far greater clarity about what you must do to finally start living the life of your dreams as you gain a better sense and appreciation of what truly matter to you.

By Jane dela Cruz Bascar