4000 Saturdays

Having To Face Up To My Mortality Depresses Me...

You are on the verge of making one of the most important breakthroughs in your life. The average number of Saturdays you have left still existed before you found out about it. Think of it from another perspective - you have just been given the gift of awareness.

Here's something I have discovered in my many years coaching people who live their life to the fullest. They don't live out of fear, but embrace the life they have. I've also discovered that every fear we have has a root fear - the fear of death. That means that everything we worry about, when you strip it down, is coming from an underlying (and perfectly natural) fear of death. Here are some examples:

- Some people go to a gym to be as fit and health as possible. Others go because they fear getting ill. Underlying fear = dying of an illness.

- Many people won't leave a job they hate because they don't know if they will get another. Their underlying fear = No income = Lose house = Homeless = No food = Starvation.

- Do you know anyone who won't get on a plane? Why? Fear of flying = Fear of plane crashing = Fear of losing your life.

I once sat on a plane next to a lady who was petrified of flying. We had a 22 hour flight ahead of us! Over the course of the first few hours, I ended up coaching her and in a calmer state she thought about what was really going on. She worked out that her fear of flying came from treasuring her life so much that she didn't want to lose it. I pointed out that she was about to lose 22 hours of the life she treasured so much needlessly worrying. At that moment the penny dropped!

Some people however live in this state their whole life. Fear paralyses them from doing anything. They never take risks, never go on adventures, never leave their house. The net result is they end up living an unfulfilled life, inspiring no-one and leaving no legacy.

So here is my challenge for you... Ask yourself, why does the idea of having 4000 Saturdays in your life depress you? You can make one of two choices. Live in fear or Embrace your life. For many 4000 Saturdays is a huge motivator! We don't have to focus on the ticking clock, but we should be asking ourselves each day "Is what I am doing today worthy of my gift of life?" Some people only ask themselves that question once a year - only 50 times in their adult life!

When we are caught up in the daily grind of life, it is hard for us to gain a perspective on what is important. Every now and then, we are faced with events in our life which really bring us back to appreciating the gift of our life, and focusing on what is important. One such event is a funeral. Every time I leave a funeral, as well as the sadness of knowing the person I knew is no longer with us, it also gives me a huge sense of gratitude for my own life. In a way, the parting gift of my friend is to remind me to appreciate being alive.

The following work day, anything I do seems so unimportant in the bigger scheme of things. The strange thing however is that feeling of appreciation gradually dwindles over a period of time, it could be days, weeks or months, but it always seems to lose its inspiring power. It's a natural human trait. We all do it! Often the routine of life sucks us back in and fills up our attention with all the superficial things we do. We end up becoming re-immersed in the drama of our lives.

So how do we maintain a perspective on what is really important? The way I recommend is keeping in the forefront of your mind the number of Saturdays you have left. Even though this is a hypothetical figure, it gives you something to measure all your decisions against. Without a benchmark, we can't fully value our time and consequently our lives. Without any perspective on their mortality, many people live lives of insignificance, acting if they are immortal and that "death is something that happens to other people". The truth is that in order to live our best life, one with true meaning and purpose, we need to constantly judge how we feel, what we think about and what we do with the limited time we have in our lives. There is nothing more powerful!

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