Get Busy Living

If you were given six months to live, what would you do with your time?  

What would you do more of?

What would you do less of or stop doing completely?

While it may seem morbid or uncomfortable to talk about death, these questions are important. They say the fear of death is not about the actual experience of dying, it is to die without ever having truly lived.

And for many people, when it comes to personal relationships or job satisfaction, there is the experience of existing rather than true joy in living a full life. 

My challenge to you is to live your life as if you only had six months to live. What would you do differently? How would you spend your time?

Time is funny. We are all given the same 24 hours, yet some people are more efficient with it than others. Our perception of it changes based on whether we enjoy what we are doing or not. And we do weird things with time like procrastinate or waste it.

And one of the oddest things we do with time is … when it comes to our daily tasks such as errands or chores, most of us act as if we don’t have enough of it, yet when it comes to our lofty goals, we put it off, take it for granted, as if time will always be there.

When you talk to cancer survivors, you hear a common theme or lesson from their experience. “I now hug my kids everyday” “I make sure to tell my family I love them” “I now make time for a real family vacation.”

The Second habit in Stephen R. Covey’s bestselling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to Begin with the End in Mind. He starts the chapter with the image of your funeral. What do you want people in your life to remember about you? What accomplishments or achievements do you want them to talk about? And with every moment of everyday, keep that clearly in your mind. Go be that person. Go do those things.

By having this mindshift, you can bring more passion not dread to your work and peace, love and joy to your family and relationships.

And to quote both Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption, it is time to “Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.”


Allyson Jannotta