I was talking to someone recently at the airport while we were waiting to board our flight. In talking, she mentioned she was in town for the funeral of her aunt who had recently passed. She spoke very highly of her and mentioned that her passing was anything but tragic.
She said that her aunt was made aware of her terminal illness six years prior and everyday following she lived her life to the absolute max--went skydiving, traveled the world, took large financial risks--everything you'd imagine you'd do if you knew you only had a short time to live.
Strangely, I remember feeling jealous of her aunt--a woman who had passed away.
In a near opposite fashion, a friend of mine lost her husband recently and it was extremely tragic. He was young, healthy and his death came out of nowhere. No warning and way too soon.
I've been thinking a lot about these two events lately and been putting some perspective on my own life in general. Mostly, I've been thinking (over thinking really) about the way I've chosen to spend each day--between work, sleep, free time, etc.
During this reflection, I can't help but wonder if I spent my day wisely. Which often leads me to the question: did I live today like it was my last?
Most days I can tell you that I didn't. Not even close. In fact, I'm not really sure that anyone should live their life that way. I mean, if I knew today were my last, I certainly wouldn't spend it emailing others, taking out the trash, working on my business or quite frankly, writing this post.
In other words, if everyone lived each day like their last, nobody would work.
So, if we can't live everyday like it was our last, what's the reasonable baseline we can attach to how we measure each day?
I propose that it's happiness.
Understand what makes you happy. Not just what activities make you happy, you need to go deeper than that. What really drives you and touches your soul? Friends, family, money, travel, etc.
Double-down on what makes you happy: For me, it's new experiences. This could mean traveling somewhere new, meeting someone new or doing something I've never done before. Experiences are the things that carry with me and live forever. I try to optimize each day to increase my experiences.
Ultimately, my advice is, live each day like it's your favorite and you can't go wrong.