Yeah…I just quoted Shawshank Redemption. Those words are pretty resonating.
To be honest I didn’t feel comfortable writing this at first. Death is probably not something you would expect a dietitian to write about right?
I was inspired because of the recent death of my uncle. I haven’t seen him in a few years but this was one bad ass dude. He was an old school biker from Detroit living in Florida with my aunt. This was someone who was genuinely one of the nicest people, but someone you wouldn’t want to piss off either. He once killed an alligator in his yard with a weed wacker while cutting his grass. If that doesn’t scream badass I don’t know what does. He was only 74. This made me sit back and reflect on life and death and how it can be a paralyzing concept that prevents us from achieving what we really want.
I read the book Jobs a while ago and it was by far one of the best books I have ever read. Steve was an interesting character to say the least, but his outlook on life was something I truly admired. One of my favorite quotes from the book was:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life”
“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. “
That last statement is so impactful. Avoiding the trap of thinking we have something to lose. So many people avoid going after something they truly want because it forces them outside of their comfort zone and that scares the hell out of them. If we embrace the fact that life is finite, then what do we really have to lose going for what we really want in life?
Think about some of these situations that you may have encountered in your own life:
- Should I start a healthy lifestyle journey and work on losing the weight I know is making each day more difficult? Or, don’t even bother because I’ve been overweight my whole life and nothing will ever change that.
- Should I starting going to the gym and make a small step in the right direction, no matter how small? Or, never start because what will others at the gym think of me since I’m not in the best shape?
- Should I quit the job I dread going to every single day to make a career change that will make me truly happy? Or, stay because it’s safe and I get a great retirement package….only 40 more years to go how bad could it be?
- Should I talk to that attractive girl I always see at the coffee shop in the morning? Or, just keep passing her by because she probably has a boyfriend, or won’t find me attractive, or think I’m a creeper for approaching her as she drinks her latte.
- Should I call that old friend I haven’t spoken to in years after our huge fight? Or, why even bother? They probably don’t want to hear from me and I’m sure it could resolve itself down the line.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
There are very few universal truths in this world. Death is one of them. It is unavoidable. So many people tip-toe through life to safely arrive at death, avoiding risk, fearing failure, and talking themselves out of their dreams, goals, and true desires. Don’t put off or avoid what you truly want as you never know which day may be your last. Get started now. Every journey begins with a single step. No matter how far or overwhelming your goals may be you need to make the first step now. Remember this:
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.