Quite some time ago I watched a TED video that touched my heart and made me cry. Like so many other times in my life I got so busy with the day to day that the emotion I felt and the message I got from that video was only here for a passing moment in time. I had the honor and privilege of attending a recent TEDx event and during that event they presented that video in between the guest speakers. I was reminded of how important it is to live before you die. Death is not always a subject that we are comfortable with, yet it doesn’t need to be only associated with sadness and loss. Death is simply transformation. Each moment we are dying to be reborn. Research has shown that our cells are in a constant state of death and rebirth. You are not the same person you were yesterday and you will be a different person tomorrow.
Do we really understand the importance of this rebirth? Each day we are given a new beginning, each moment is a chance to be a new you, in every way, from the cellular level out. What will you do with this new person, this new lease on life? Are you living as though today was your first day and your last? Think about it, this day is your first and last in many ways. Many of us aren’t living this way. We allow our fears to get in the way of what we really want in life. We fail to realize that on the other side of those fears is where our dreams live. We bury our dreams so far that they cannot grow. They get no light, no water, no nurturing. The seeds that grow are the ones we nurture and care for. Which seeds are you caring for?
We make excuses for not doing what we want to do. “ I can’t, I have a full time job, I have responsibilities.” “People will think I am crazy.” “ What about my family and friends?” “ I have no money, I need to save.” “ I will follow my dreams when I retire.” “ I will take a vacation when I can afford it.” “ I will do the things I want to do someday.” Guess what, if you wait until you can afford it you will never do the things you want to do and someday only leads to nowhere in the middle of never land. I don’t know of anyone who got to the end of their life and regretted not having worked enough. The bigger question would be how much do you play? Am I suggesting you drop everything, quit your job, and runaway…no, unless of course that is your dream. Some of us love our jobs and doing what we do is part of our dream. For those of you in this position, rock on, you are living your dream. How do you know which of these people you are, simple, ask yourself this question. “Would I be doing what I do even if I didn’t get paid for it?” If the answer is yes, then you are definitely on the right path. If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your passion and find a new path.
I’m sure many of you are reading this and saying, “Well that’s fine for you but it won’t work for me.” You are wrong, it works for all of us, I’m not special. The important thing to remember is to nurture those dreams even if it is in baby steps. Say for example, you want to take a vacation to some faraway place that you have always dreamed of visiting, start with little things. Research your dream destination, collect interesting facts about what you can do there. Put a picture of it on your desktop. See yourself there. How would you feel if you were standing there right now? Your body won’t know the difference and you will benefit from this every time you practice it. Start a vacation fund. Get the picture? You can take baby steps with anything that is on your list of things to do before you die. Don’t wait! Before you know your dreams will be a reality, one stop at a time.
The video I’ve been referring to was created by a young woman named Candy Chang, you can check it out here. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be inspired. This video asks a very important question, one we should all take the time to answer. Before I die I want to_________________. The answers, as you will see, ranged from humorous to serious, happy to sad and everything in between. The movement she created by this one simple act has spread world wide. Enjoy the video, and then get out there and live your dreams!