If You Died Today

A depressing topic for a blog post no doubt, but an important one and one that can hold many positive lessons if we allow our thoughts to go there.

There has been so much in the news this week of death, with the Orlando shooting and the tragic murder yesterday of British MP Jo Cox. I shall leave those more qualified to comment on these terribly sad, hateful incidents. This post comes from a more personal place, prompted by the premature death last week of someone I had met only back in April.

I hardly knew Chris. I spent just a couple of days in his company at a conference along with many others. He was a highly regarded podcast host, fitness expert, writer and teacher.

But it is not what he did that makes me so sad to hear of his death at the age of 36; it is that all too short impression of the man he was.

I cannot say that I knew him, but in my mind he remains a gentle giant. A family man who listened, thought deeply, cared, was humble, industrious and pure-hearted. Someone who wanted to learn and grow as a person, and to help others to do so along the way.

What would others say about me, about you if you died today? Is it what you would want them to say? Are you (or are you becoming) the person that you want to be?

On occasion, when coaching clients (or myself), this kind of question can provide much needed perspective on the now – highlighting any discrepancy between our highest values and our current reality or path, showing us what truly matters to us and how to reset our course.

If you were to die today, what would you regret not having done or said or pursued? What would you do differently now if you knew that your time left was short? As Buddha gently reminds us: 

“The trouble is, you think you have time”.

Although we need to live fully and embrace life now, it is by asking ourselves such melancholy questions that we can make sure that we are living consciously and deliberately – hopefully allowing us to share more of our best self with the world and to accept more readily the end when our own time comes. It is so easy to get caught up unquestioningly in the priorities and values of others and of society, in distractions of daily life – it is important to take stock and check that we are living out the values and life that mean something to us.

Are you devoting enough time to the people and things that really matter to you? Do you like who you are? What do you want or know you really need change? If you were to jump ahead in your mind to the end of your life, what advice would you give yourself right now? Sit and connect with those questions. Maybe get a pen and write down what comes up. Sometimes the answers can be uncomfortable or we don’t know where to begin to change things. But asking these questions is at least a starting point to create a self and life that you can be proud of, of becoming the self that you actually want to be.

Chris Moore this blog post is for you. You were clearly a remarkable man and I regret that I will not have the chance to know you better.

To those reading, if I met you at a conference just briefly, what would you want me to say about you, how would you want me to remember you? I ask you this question as I ask it of myself. I hope it helps you in some way.