I recently had the privilege to have a great conversation with a 95-year-old man who was full of energy, passion and enthusiasm for life like something I have never seen before. What surprised me the most about this man was his age combined with his youthful passion and eagerness to make each day a masterpiece.
Roughly 10 minutes into the conversation, I asked the man, “How do you do it? How do you stay full of energy, passion and enthusiasm at your age? I don’t mean to sound rude or anything, but you are hungrier and more excited to make a difference and live life to the fullest at 95 than most people in their 20s and 30s.”
His response was chilling and really prompted me to go into deep thought about it for a couple of days: “It’s simple son. For the past 50 years I have always asked myself, 'if today was my last day here on earth, would my life matter? Would my life be remembered as one that held significance and meaning?' By asking myself this question every day, I'm excited to wake up each morning and live that day to the fullest. Frankly, I believe that’s the only reason why I'm still alive.”
Later that night, I spent a lot of time thinking about the elder man's response. It hit me that this sentiment should be lived by all of us in our business and personal lives, as well as our relationships and encounters with other human beings on a daily basis.
Will your life matter?
This is a really profound question when you give it some thought. Every one of us should be asking the question, “If today was my last day here on earth, would my life matter?” It’s amazing to see so many people, and I have even caught myself falling into this trap from time to time, just navigating mindlessly through life without ever coming to the realization that life truly is short and that we don’t live forever.
That’s a major reason why so many people don’t follow and live their passions. That’s why so many don’t embark on their life's calling that tugs at their hearts every single day. That’s why so many just do enough to get the job done instead of going the extra mile to create a masterpiece. They completely lose sight of the fact that they won't live forever and that their time here on earth is very limited.
Living in a world of “somedays” is not enough to live a life of significance. I encourage you to begin the process of asking yourself this question each day. I am certain that you will find a newfound passion for life that will have others asking you just like I asked the elder gentleman, “What are you doing differently?”
Go beyond materialistic possessions.
Living a life that matters is about a whole lot more than materialistic possessions. This is where I think a lot of people get it all mixed up. During your final days here on earth, I can promise you that your materialistic possessions will not be one of the first things that comes to mind. You can make a lot of money and have a ton of nice things while still not living a life of significance.
We all want to earn a comfortable living and enjoy nice things, but don’t forget what matters most. What is the quality of your relationships? Are you making a difference in the lives of others each day? Is your business and organization making a profound impact on the industry that you are in? Are you living every day to the absolute fullest? Are you creating a masterpiece today?
So ask yourself that one simple question, "If today was my last day here on earth, would my life matter?" Doing so can change your life in a variety of different ways.