5 July 2013

Life lessons from people staring death in the face

I don't think there is anything quite more motivating in this life than death. 

I know there has been many (many) people before me say it, and there will be many (many) people after me say it but we really truly don't know when our time is up. 

I'm not saying this on the blog to be morbid, I'm not saying it to be uber "you never know when your time is up babe so quit your job and spend all your money" either. No. 

I'm saying it because I think knowing that our time on earth will come to an end is a beautiful reminder to show up and engage and simply, live with no regrets. 

There was an article I shared last year on regrets of the dying. I thought it was so raw and powerful - stuff came up like; 

"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me"


"I wish that I had let myself be happier"

Even this quote by Steve Jobs after hearing he had terminal cancer still stands out strong and loud to me;  

“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.

But it was yesterday, when a gorgeous girlfriend of mine Gem, emailed me a link that I was so inspired by again. It was some humbling advice by a man called Denis Wright who is dying for an incurable brain tumour. He shares this journey on his blog but it was this little snippet of life lessons he shared once he knew his time was limited that brought me to tears on the spot.  

1. Don't spend your life in a job you hate. Life is too short to live it only in the evening and at weekends.

2. If there's something bad happening in your life you genuinely have no control over, learn all you can about it and how to live with it. Beating your head against a brick wall is unproductive.

3. If you think you can change it, then go all out to do so. Try to understand its nature and work with it where you can.

4. There are no 'good' and 'bad' decisions. If you made what you think might have been a poor choice in life, learn from it, and you might make a better one next time. You don't know what's going to turn out good or bad in the long run, so regrets are a waste of time.

5. Don't agonise about the past, in the sense that you can't change it. Live in the slice of time that's the now. You can't live in the moment; it's too short. The slice is richer. It contains a little of past, present and future.

6. Apologise as soon as you can when you think you've hurt someone. Don't try to pretend you're perfect. Accept responsibility where it's due.

7. Keep your options open for as long as possible. Don't close them unnecessarily.

8. Try to keep your sense of humour if you can, though it's not always possible.

9. Carpe Diem ... Or, for a change, seize the day!

And there's one more.

10. Do not be afraid of death. "If you're not more afraid of your own death than you need to be, then you need have little fear for anything life can hand out."


The lesson I take from all of this is to just live your life. Live it hard. Live it authentically. Live it with happiness. Live it with Love. Live it through giving, by engaging and when your day does come and you have to leave the earth, make sure there are no regrets and you left everything on the table. 

Carpe Diem my beautiful readers xx

Image: here


  1. "5. Don't agonise about the past, in the sense that you can't change it. Live in the slice of time that's the now. You can't live in the moment; it's too short. The slice is richer. It contains a little of past, present and future"

    That rang so true to me the day I found that post. I was having one of those "negative" days, and couldn't think of anything positive at all! I thought of you straight away and had to share, as I think we all as humans need to be reminded to live!
    Thank you for constantly inspiring me!

    Gem xo

  2. Thanks for sharing this post, it is so important to liev your life. xo

  3. Hi Anna, I think it´s important to take a lesson from the people who themselves or their loved ones went through something like that. I read Vashti Whitfield´s blog and I can´t wait till the movie Be here now which is about Andy Whitfield´s fight with cancer comes out. I simply have to admire courage of both of them. Have a nice Sunday ;)
    xx Eve.h


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...