What Would You Do on Your Last Days?
If you knew today was your last day, what would you do?
I was on holiday in June when I received word that my uncle had suddenly passed on.
In just a split second, we went from thinking all was well, to ruminating that our world has one less wonderful person in it.
When we returned for his wake, I learned from those he interacted with, that he was a truly wonderful man. He was the man to go to if you needed help. He was a man who had the gumption to make hard decisions and see them through. He was also a man who loved his job. He worked nearly every day of the week. However, it wasn’t just work to him - it gave him purpose and pleasure.
His death led me to ponder on this question: if you knew you were to die tonight, what would you do?
Death is a friend that we don’t want to meet, but know that we will encounter one day. We have managed to delay his presence through better medical care, and luck. As I pondered on the question, it struck me hard that we only have one life. We can’t achieve and do all the things we want to. With the certainty of death in mind, I wondered - should we truly rethink our priorities and life journey to ensure that we can achieve and do all the things we would like to, before we meet with death?
As I reflected, I realized deeply that I only wanted one thing: to ensure that my loved ones know how much I love them. I want my children to know that I am so proud of them, and they can never lose my love. I want my wife to know that I love her dearly. I want my family to know that they are my greatest blessing and I am richly blessed to have them in my life.
It wasn’t about the material wealth I wanted to accumulate, nor the titles, positions, or achievements the world would celebrate.
At the end of the day, it was something more intangible. On my deathbed, I want to die knowing I have done my best. I want to know that my years on earth have impacted people’s lives positively, or at least more positively than negatively. I won’t miss the things I accumulated in my years on earth. Those are nice to have but they don’t last. I want to accumulate experiences, in particular, experiences with my loved ones. And these experiences are in my daily encounters with my children.
How does this shape my view of money?
Comfortingly enough, this aligned nicely with my perspective of money. I have always believed that money is only a tool - it is a great slave, but a horrible master. Money should not be pursued for its own sake. Instead, it is meant to equip us to live a life that we want.
What about you?
What about you, dear reader? What are your priorities, when you have the reality of death in mind? Does that change or align with the way you view money? I urge you to take the time to reflect on this, so that you may live a life that you are truly proud of.
Alanis Morissette sings that “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right.” You never know if today is your last day, only know that today you are alive and given another chance at life. And as long as you have another chance at life, “Life has a funny way of helping you out”.
A final note to my uncle
Dear Uncle. It is time for your rest. You have fought the good fight, run the good race. It is now time to rest.