Imagine receiving news that you had a terminal illness and that you were going to die tomorrow. What about if you were going to die in 3 months? In a year? What would your life look like? How would you spend your last days?
These are the questions that flashed through my mind in October 2017.
It seemed just like any normal day. I went to the doctor’s office to get a sonogram because I had found a lump in my breast. But I was 29 years old. I was healthy. I didn’t expect anything to come of it. I was just being a responsible proactive adult.
After getting my sonogram I was asked to stay for a mammogram. Then I was asked to go to my physicians office immediately so they could discuss the results. I knew something wasn’t right.
“The radiology report indicates that the lump in your breast falls under the bi-rad 5 category. This means that there is an 80-95% chance your lump is cancerous. We cannot be sure until we take a biopsy.”
To say that I was shocked by the news is an understatement. The thought that I could have cancer at 29 freaked me out. You never think it’s going to be you. You never think death could be around the corner.
Suddenly I began to think of all the things I did not get to do in life – that I did not get to see. During the week I waited for my results from the biopsy, so many thoughts that crossed my mind. Most of them were regrets – concerns that I had not lived my full potential, that
I had not seen the world, and that I had not yet made my mark or found my life’s work.
The week before I got my results felt like a lifetime. But eventually, I heard back from the doctor and I was told that the biopsy report revealed that I did not have cancer. They still needed to surgically remove the lump to ensure they hadn’t missed anything but the chances of cancer were slim.
After surgery, I was relieved to find out that there was absolutely no cancer detected. I felt that I was given a second chance – an opportunity to live my life with more urgency to do and see the things that I hadn’t done.
The point of this story is I think everyone should think about or face there immortality. We’ve all read those cliché quotes “ like “Live every day as if it were your last.” But I strongly suggest that you REALLY think about it because it helps you to reflect and to be honest with yourself about whether you are happy, or satisfied. It helps you to think about the things you’ve been putting off. It compels you to act so that you do not have regrets.
There is a quote that I always remind myself of often: “The trouble is you think you have time.” We don’t. Time is the most precious commodity. That is why these days I’m more thoughtful about how I spend my time.
If you’re unsure about where to start reflecting, I’ve put together some questions you should ask yourself:
- Why do I do the work that I do?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Am I meeting goals I have set for myself?
- Is there anything I haven’t accomplished that I want to accomplish?
- Am I fulfilling my potential?
- Has today added anything of value to my stock of knowledge or mindset?
- Am I allowing things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things – to hold me back?
- Is there anything I want to experience before I die that I haven’t experienced already?
- If you could start over, what would you do differently? What would your life look like?
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
These are some questions to get you started. Ofcourse they only scratch the surface. I encourage you to dive deeper and to incorporate the changes you want to see in your life urgently.