This is the last post in this series that I have been writing since last Monday. I was not sure what would I put here, there are more articles, more videos to share about how to find your passion, how to do what you want to do and so on. But, if you’re really keen and have that fire kindled inside – you can find the relevant material yourself. We all have access to lot more information that we can ever care to read, understand and internalize. The crux of the matter is, what is it that we search for, what is it that we look for… We all know, life is unpredictable and you never know when you’re going to die. Many of us might have seen and might even remember the walk and star gazing conversation between Hritik & Katrina from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Almost all of us have read and/or heard that Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish speech by Steve Jobs. He knew about his potentially fatal cancer before he delivered this speech in 2005. With this in mind, we can recall what he said in this speech –
Your Time Is Limited, So Don’t Waste It Living Someone Else’s Life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs
Well, knowing about life’s uncertainty and ultimate death is one thing, and realizing it is quite another! Fortunately, we don’t need to be diagnosed with something as serious as cancer to realize this. The realization can occur anytime. I had mine when I spent entire night alone in the cold, open Shiv Temple in Himachal in 0 to 4 degrees temperature, with just a thick jacket given by dear friends Ashish & Divya, and few small pieces of log burning to keep me somewhat warm. Eventually, the fire gave up later that night. I realized for the first time that I could really die anytime, anywhere away from my friends, family and if I just keep postponing the things that I love, they’d probably just remain as unfulfilled dreams. I want to live my life my way today, not in some distant future. I want to smell the roses today, I want to have the time to stand and stare today….
Anyway! This is a beautiful article based on the book written by Bronnie Ware, a nurse working in palliative care. The book talks about top regrets of the dying people. This is what the article says about courage –
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
You can read that complete article here –
I have not read the original book, but if you’re interested, it is available on Amazon: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. Lot of people with Near Death Experiences have reported significant change in their life perspective after their experiences. One doesn’t know what could trigger the realization, but once the realization is triggered you only want to align most of everything that you do, with what you are! There is a beautiful TED talk by Candy Chang, she lost someone she loved and then carried out an experiment in her neighbourhood to reveal what people want to do before they die. This talk is very impactful, it is very real with lighthearted moments and ordinary people expressing their desires, what they want to do before dying. It is my pleasure to end this article and series with her deep insights –
Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people. In our age of increasing distractions, it’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender. Death is something that we’re often discouraged to talk about or even think about, but I’ve realized that preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.