Tag Archives: someday

When Will You Live Your Life?

26 Jun

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s most interesting about the above quote is that it was written by Mr. Emerson approximately 150 years ago, when life in America was quite different than it is today. But it seems that nothing really has changed in those intervening years. People still sacrifice happiness today for some expectation of happiness in the future. The question is, Why?

Why do we put so much faith in tomorrow while we waste this most precious moment? Will tomorrow be better? We don’t know. We were created to be optimists willing to bet on the come. But, the best we can do is to hope and wish that tomorrow will be different; when joy, happiness, contentment and accomplishment will be our constant companions. But that really isn’t much of a strategy and very often leads to disappointment.

In my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life, I created Exercise #4 to deal with this very subject. It’s entitled, Today is Yesterday’s Someday. You see, my Dad was a Someday kind of guy. He used to pepper his speech with all the things he wanted to do, Someday. But when he died just short of his 77th birthday most of his Somedays were never realized. I was sad for him. What was he waiting for?

Somedays are often our dreams for ourselves. What we really want our lives to be about. But typically, they are predicated on some milestone or future event happening in our life. These things sound like, “I really want to learn to ________ as soon as the kids are old enough.” “By the time I’m forty I want to own my own business.” “I can’t even begin to think about that until our finances are a little better.” I want to pursue my passion for photography as soon as I have the time.” Does this sound like you?

This is your life on pause. But time cannot be paused. It continues to move forward without you and one day you wake up with little to show for all your years of sacrifice. You know that life is fragile. Just think about James Gandolfini, dead at 51. An incredible actor with so much more to give to future audiences. Why wait to begin living your life?  Life is precious and MUST be lived in the moment.

Here is what I want you to do NOW! Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your Somedays. Don’t judge what you wrote down. These are your dreams. Now prioritize them by which is most important to you. Then take your number one Someday and write a SMART goal for it. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is either buy my book, where I teach you, or look it up on the internet. Once you have your goal written – start living it, TODAY.

With Love,

Michael

No Regrets!

20 Mar

Recently I was made aware of a wonderful book written by an Australian palliative care nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware, entitled, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. Each of the five regrets is monumental, but I would like to talk about regret number one which seems to be the most common; I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I have written about this very subject many times before and had discussed my father as an example in my book Overpowering Fear. My dad was a complicated and frustrated man. He loved his father dearly (and so did I), but his mother was a totally different story. She was without a doubt a dark and angry woman, dissatisfied with life she made the lives of others around her barely tolerable.

My dad grew up to be a very demonstrative and loving man. Easily manipulated by the women in his life to be the perfect son, the perfect husband. Not necessarily because he wanted to be but because it was demanded of him as he grew up. But underneath all this was a frustrated man with a simmering rage buried just below the surface. A rage that could turn him in an instant from a Dr. Jekyll into a Mr. Hyde. Living with my dad was like constantly walking on eggshells. You never knew when one would break and he’d fly into a rage. And then watch out.

As my father got older he seemed to mellow. He realized his rage and apologized many times for the father he was. I accepted his apologies and sort of minimized all the pain he caused me by telling him, I knew his mother. You see, both my two brothers and I became rage-a-holics too. You might say it was in the genes, but I believe it was learned behavior.

I wished my dad and I talked more. I was so afraid of him that our conversations never really scratched the surface. I never really got to understand him, but like I said, I knew my grandmother into my twenties, so I can easily imagine where his anger and frustration came from.

My dad would often preface his desires by saying, “Someday, I’m going to have this.” Or “Someday, I’d like to do that.” But the somedays came and went and none was ever accomplished. In looking back I think he was afraid to tell my mother and us kids what he would really like in his life. In fact, I don’t think he even knew what he wanted in his life, because his dreams and his goals were never part of the equation. He was raised to be the obedient son and husband, and the demanding but uninvolved father.

My dad has been gone for nineteen years now and I miss him every day. I wish I’d gotten to know him better. If I could offer one piece of advice to my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, it is this: You have but one life to live. It is yours to do with as you please. Let the lies others have told you about yourself dissolve into nothingness, and leave your mind forever. They were never true to begin with. Overpower your fears and recognize that you are perfect as you are. In fact, you are God’s greatest miracle. You were created to follow your own heart and to live your own dreams, never another’s. May you never have to die with a single regret.

With Love,

Michael