What does it really mean to live like there’s no tomorrow ? A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep. The thought of dying had found its way into my bedroom and snuggled up next to me like a child who had a nightmare. What happens if tomorrow doesn’t come? As flicked through my Instagram feed I thought about living for today like tomorrow isn’t showing up. After fighting the inevitable trip down the rabbit hole that is the endless thought process around death and dying, I passed out and dreamt of a random trip to London where I smoked tons of weed and drank Moscow Mules. More on that later.
Growing up in a Christian home afforded me weekly trips to Sunday school where I learned about God, heaven and the pit known as hell. Death wasn’t a scary concept, at least not to a young 8 year old boy learning about all the dope stores about Jesus. I’ll save my religious beliefs for another post (spoiler alert: I’m a Christian), but the mention of my upbringing is necessary due to the fact that I have always been clear on where I’m going after I pass away.
My most recent thoughts around death have been sparked, at least in my opinion, by having kids of my own. The thought of leaving them behind is rather horrible. And, while my beliefs are still intact, I also think it’s normal to be a bit fearful of the unknown. Which leads me to this article. The phrases “live like there’s no tomorrow” and “live each day like it’s your last” make sense, until you actually put some thought into it. What does it really mean to live today like there’s no tomorrow? Should I pack up a suitcase and jump on the nearest flight to paradise, with my wife and kids, sitting comfortably in first class? Because that’s exactly what I’d do if I had the inside scoop on the world’s impending doom.
Unfortunately, there’s no insider trading on death (at least I haven’t found that fraternity yet). Your time could be up tomorrow or it could be many decades from now. Trying to predict that is pointless, but the question still remains. What does it really mean to live life as if today is your last day on earth? I wanted to explore this idea from a realistic perspective and piece together, at least what I would consider, to be the perfect last day on earth.
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. Taking a real, honest, and non-biased look at your life or mine requires a lot of work. We’re not the best at being honest with our own lives and getting clear on where we currently are. Living as if tomorrow isn’t guaranteed starts with doing things that make you happy. I’m not talking about the stuffing-your-face-with-chocolate and eating whatever-the-hell-you-want type of happy. True happiness isn’t gained through temporary indulgences. I’d argue that genuine happiness comes from having a purpose for living your life. A purpose that gets you out of bed in the morning even when you feel like hiding inside your pillowcase.
A purpose driven life is a happy life. Everyone has the opportunity to build purpose into their day, week, month and year. As I pondered the idea of how I’d live my last day, I quickly realized that I’d still be focused on fulfilling what I believe to be my purpose for living. That purpose is to raise my boys, be an incredible husband and put an end to the history of less-than-stellar Dads and divorce in my family’s historical timeline. Coupled with that my purpose is to help 1 Million men and women transform their bodies and lives. Those areas take up 99% of my time so there’s no reason to think that a perfect “last day” wouldn’t include working on those things.
I could imagine waking up early, writing a really helpful Facebook post or blog article, sending it off to my assistant and then making my wife and kids eggs and pancakes while sipping on coffee feeling satisfied that I made a small dent in my purpose /life goals for the day. I laugh as I write this article because I just thought “maybe I’d even partake in breakfast for once”, since I’m a 365 days a year intermittent fasting guy. Honestly, I don’t think I would. Intermittent fasting has been such massive life improvement that I’d imagine continuing to do it even on my last day here on this planet. It makes me happy, so therefore it gets included.
If you feel like you don’t have a purpose, that’s ok. I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy to find your purpose. Many people don’t realize their purpose till later in life after they’ve been on their grind and busting their ass for a few decades or more. To speed up the discovery of purpose, my best advice is to listen to yourself. If you pay attention to the excitement you feel around doing certain things – I’d encourage you to follow that trail. Give yourself the chance to discover what you’re great at. For me it was coaching and teaching people how to become the best version of themselves through fitness. I’ve always been curious about fitness, but it wasn’t until I pursued it and starting helping people that I realized I have a gift for leading people to their goals. Follow your curiosity – stay woke when it comes to things that get you amped up and things that give you a sense of fulfillment. You’ll find your purpose that way.
Love is an incredible force that brings people together and creates a bond that can never be broken. Your last day or my last day should be filled with love. Living like today is your last day on earth should be centered around the concept of love. I’m not just referring to the love you show your spouse and your children. If you’re anything like me you’d take a bullet for your family. That’s deep and powerful love. But that’s not the only love we should live by.
Love for our neighbor and fellow human is an important piece too. Traffic jams where people flip the bird, crowded streets full of angry people jockeying for position, and taxi cabs honking obscenities in crowded city streets is all the evidence you need to see how love can be quickly lost. Love for my neighbor and fellow humans isn’t easy. It’s hard enough to loving your relatives who often times know how to how to push your buttons. Love for others on your last day should be a priority, but here’s why.
It starts by loving yourself. The love you express for others isn’t something you can fake forever. If you don’t first love yourself, it becomes quite challenging to love those around you. It’s very difficult to love yourself. Especially when you know all your faults and shortcomings. You know each part of yourself so damn well that God forbid anyone were to know the real you – that would be a disaster right? Well, you’re wrong.
Everyone has massive flaws. You, me, and the rest of the human race. Thinking “I’m not good enough” or “I hate how I am” is downright stupid. Unless you’re hiding some evilness that I won’t even shed light on here, you’re more than likely very normal. Which leads me to the fact that you should take pride in loving yourself. You can’t serve others from an empty cup. And that cup is you my friend. This love for yourself may not grow overnight. It might need a lot of time and healing to become part of how you treat yourself. However, as someone who’s struggled with depression in years past, I can truthfully say that being kind to yourself will create opportunities to help others.
On the last day on earth one of my greatest goals would be to show true love to those who I come into contact with and to the incredible family that I’ve been blessed with. A smile, holding the door for someone, a hug and kind word are some simple ways to show people you care. You never know who might need that positive energy. The world can feel very complicated at times, but we can help simplify things by loving ourselves and loving others.
One thing is for certain, if I’m living each day like it’s my last, I’m going to do things that make me happy. Keep in mind that providing for my family and helping my clients makes gives me loads of happiness. I also enjoy reading a well-written book (fiction and non-fiction), catching up on Chicago sports, and eating bagels before bed. All of which can be done on the regular without them interfering with my adult’s list of things I must do.
You might be thinking, “if I only do things that make me happy I’ll just be fat, lazy, and broke”. When you ponder those adjectives – it’s quite apparent that being overweight and unsuccessful don’t match up with happiness, therefore doing things that result in those states of being aren’t truthfully adding to your happiness. Therefore this assumption that all things that make you happy will result in a negative outcome is incorrect. This isn’t temporary pleasure. This is about maximizing your enjoyment and fulfillment.
It makes even more sense to do things that aren’t easy. Lifting yourself up to a level of happiness that gives true fulfillment requires the simple things such as lifting weights to release massive endorphins, lifting someone else’s mood through a kind word or text, lifting your standards to give yourself the respect you deserve, and lifting your mood through a music playlist that gets your body moving.
This is why I train or move each day. It elevates my mood. It clears my brain and makes room for positive energy. It’s a natural high that makes the entire day 10x better. Ask yourself this – what are the simple habits and routines that lift my life to new levels? Keep those things in your life.
Going back to my “bagels before bed” happiness item. A bagel with cream cheese before bed is delicious simply because it’s part of my daily routine and it’s built into my nutrition plan – which gives me massive results – which makes me feel confident – which, at the end of the day, contributes to my happiness. There’s levels to this game. Find your elevator to the happiness floor and level up. Better yet, take the stairs.
If you’re living each day as if it’s your last, the question becomes – are you leaving a legacy? For me legacy means blazing a path that I want to leave for those who would follow. I want each day to build a blueprint for my sons on how to live life with no regrets and how to maximize their gift of being on this planet.
My question for you is this. Are you creating a legacy that will impact the people you love in positive way? Or are you missing the opportunity to set new standards and new levels of success? Whether you know it or not there are people watching you and being influenced by you.
This is why I strongly believe that everything in your life starts with health and fitness. It gives you the cheat codes to optimizing everything in your day to day life. You get an automatic boost that most people miss out on as they live their days without a purpose with the weight of regret on their shoulders. They feel as if something is missing and no matter how hard they try they just can’t seem to break through. Little do they know that the secret is right in front of them.
As we wonder what it really means to live each day like it’s your last – the answer, at least to me anyway, is a simple one. It starts with investing in yourself. Train your body and your mind. Love the people in your life. Laugh. Learn something new. If you do that each day – I truly believe your life will be one worth living.