I remember it like it was this morning, it was 17:28pm 17 May 1974, when in one moment, fate decided that I should live this life I live now.
At 17.27 pm I walked past a car that 30 seconds later exploded, killing 10 people, including two infant girls and their parents.
At 11.30 on 19th June 1976 I was involved in a car crash where by 3 seconds and 4 meters I avoided certain death.
These were two examples of events in my life where for whatever reason, be it luck, fate, timing, co-incidence, the hand of God, it was not written anywhere that my story should end at that time.
Why do I start with such morbid thoughts?
Well, this week I had experiences that brought these events to mind.
First, my friends Jack and Sheila had dinner together last Saturday night. They sat together talking about Covid and the exciting plans that they had for 2021, the places they would go, the joys they would experience. The friend families they would connect/re-connect with. They went to bed, had a cuddle and kiss and went to sleep. When Jack woke at 8am Sunday morning, he turned over to find Sheila dead in the bed beside him.
This week, I was working with the NHS when Dr S told me of his melt down. He had admitted a patient, Patient X. Now, Patient X was very ill and she was rushed into the Covid ward. Dr S was very busy caring for her and others and he was also attempting to connect Patient X by face-time with her family, when Patient X died.
Yes, he knew she was extremely ill, but he did not expect her to die that quickly. His meltdown was because he just knew if he had been quicker or less busy, Patient X could have spoken to her family before she died and he is devastated that he did not make this happen.
Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” Now, in my job, you get to meet people at all stages of their lives, and my experiences of those many who are about to die, or those who have lost loved ones usually have regrets such as:
“I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
“I wish I had stayed in touch with my family/ friends.”
“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings and told people how I feel more.”
“I wish I didn’t work so hard and found more time to give”
“I wish I had allowed myself to love others more or love myself more”
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
The most common regrets of all, when people realise that their life is almost over or they look back with a clarity that many of us do not apply to our lives, is they regret the choices they made not to do things, the grudges they carry and the time they wasted. You know most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams.
I say to you today. It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams and you must start today, right here right now. Preparing to live your dream is really postponing it. You are either living it, or you are not.
I say to you today. Live in the now.
Living in the now brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. So, whoever gave me the time to share my messages to day –thank you
To Jack (not his real name) my very deepest sympathy. To Dr S your care is amazing, what you give is exceptional, the fact that you care makes all the difference. To those reading, life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment right now, it is perfect.
Be happy for this moment. Snuggle yourself into this moment This very moment is your life.
Do not let anyone leave your company without telling them you love them.
Be that person who gives energy to others.
And remember these words: Life is full of beauty.
Notice it right now. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Hear the sea. Live your life to the fullest potential right here right now, as Buddha said “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment and live for now”.
THE MENTAL FILTER – 3 things to consider
- What are your dreams?
- Do you have regrets you can rectify now?
- What steps can you take to live your dreams now?
I can take you to success. I coach ordinary people every day to do extra-ordinary things. I coach extra-ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. The difference is those who have a dream, and are prepared to follow said dream, are extraordinary, and just need a structure and support system to kick off that journey, which will finish with them sliding in fast sideways to the grave, totally worn out from the relentless living of their dreams, screaming out loudly “Wow holy sh*t, what a ride!”
If that is you – start today! If you are looking for coaching on change for yourself or your organisation, or would like more information on the work we do on Personal, Professional, or Organisational Change, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dr Maurice Duffy
Irish. Author, Professor, Coach and Business strategist. The person Australian Captain Steve Smith credited with helping him back from his cricket ban. Coach to two Ashes wins. Coach to CEOs, Politicians and some of the best know international sports starts including Olympians. BBC ‘Thought for the Week’. Coached business leaders and organizations in 80 countries. Works with charities to do with Mental Health. Lives in North East England with his wife and 11-year-old son.