The Downside of Living as if it Were Your Last Day

You may have heard it exclaimed before, ‘Live as if it were your last day…’ or ‘Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.’ At first, the phrase may seem inspiring. Imagine having one more day to make every moment count, to be completely present and celebrate being alive? Sounds good, and also sounds like a lot for one day.

I do believe that being more present and grateful paves the way for a richer, more fulfilling life on so many levels, yet the concept of living as if it were my last day has never sparked my interest. If I knew it were my last day, I probably wouldn’t feel the motivation to enhance my current situation. That’s just me. The phrase implies a general consensus that we take life for granted, and if we knew we only had one more day perhaps we would shift our mindset. Regret, guilt, and sadness are the byproducts of a life taken for granted.

Why wait until the end? Why operate under the mentality that only when things come towards a close can we actually open our eyes? Instead, I would prefer to live as if it were my very first day. Yes, now we’re talkin’! You may not remember, but you were once a little baby. With no mind… in a completely new world… curious, open, innocent, and free. You had no ideas of right and wrong or good and bad… no judgments, no anxieties, no worries (besides perhaps when your next meal will be), no regrets and guilt… just a blank canvas… full of potential.

The inevitable accumulation of society’s conditioning has the potential to fog up the clarity of our soul, which is just as pure as an infant. The more we understand our minds and use them as the handy tools they are, we may come in contact with our ability to tap into that authentic state of wonder, no matter what our life circumstance is. I am often reminded of the miracle and reality of this childlike state of awe when I travel to new places. My mind is opened up to a place I have never been, and my internal operating system refreshes itself completely. I feel fully aware and alive. Refreshed and rejuvenated. Inspired. 

No travel is needed though. When we choose to recognize the miracle of each day, the ‘brand new-ness’ of each moment, we in return gift ourselves a daily rebirth. When we believe in the notion of ‘same old’, or ‘just another day’, then that reality shall remain true as well. It is simply a choice of how we perceive our reality. Our lives can be severely limited or endlessly expansive based on our minds. Pay attention the the small things.. the details, the sound of the birds, a smile, and a hug. Every moment is sacred, and when we learn to live as if it were our first day, anything is possible.

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