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“All the suffering in the world comes from wanting happiness for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from wanting happiness for others.” ~ The great Buddhist master Shantideva
Something that scares me more than anything else is dying with regret. I don’t want to look back on my younger years wishing I had done something differently or wishing that I hadn’t hurt this or that person. Regret scares me. And the only way to live and die without regret is to find a way to make your life truly meaningful. When your every action, thought and word has meaning you will find that your death (and indeed your life) will be a very peaceful process and that when you look back from the other-side you can know that YOU made a difference.
Take a second to do a little “meditation” with me. I want you to take your hands off the mouse and just spend two minutes imagining your death. Imagine you are laying on your bed with your family around you. Imagine you have only five or six breaths left before you depart to the next world. How do you feel? Do you have regrets? Are you afraid?
How do you feel? If you find you are afraid, anxious or regretful then I can guarantee you aren’t living your life the way you intended before you were born. You aren’t making every minute meaningful. By looking at death we can get a great insight into our life.
How does one live without regret?
Make your life about others
The most important thing you can ever do is make your life about other people. Our world is so self-centered. We are brought up to believe that we are more important than everyone else and that we need to take care of our own needs and wants before the needs and wants of others. But after a while we realize that we feel kind of empty. That’s when we have the midlife crisis. The crisis occurs because we realize that we have spent our whole lives working to make ourselves happy but we still feel crap.
I believe that procrastination is one of the worst things a human being can do. If you want to make every minute of your life meaningful you have no time to procrastinate.
Think about the last five years of your life. How fast have they zoomed by? I remember my first day of high school as if it were yesterday and it seems as though I have achieved very little since then. I have spent too much time procrastinating. And this is a cause for regret.
We hear it all the time but we never take it in. Life is short. It will be over in the blink of an eye. And to make matters worse, you have no idea when your life is going to end. You could die of a heart attack in your 80′s or you could die from cancer in a week. You could get hit by a bus. So now ask yourself this: if you knew you had only five years left would you change the way you are living? I bet most of us would. What if the average life span was only 40 or so years?
Don’t get angry
Anger, it is said, is the worst of all the negative emotions. The Buddha once remarked that a single moment of anger can destroy 100 years of good deeds. I can see how this can be so. Lots of bad things happen because of anger – violence, rape, wars, etc. And the bad thing about anger is that you always end up regretting it.
Think about the last time you got angry and acted on it. You might have yelled at your partner or a coworker. How did you feel five minutes later? Did you feel vindicated and justified or did you feel heavy and burdened? I am betting it was the latter. Every time I have said or done something in anger I have come to regret it. Life is too short for anger.
Angry people don’t succeed in life. They sabotage their happiness and they end up living very lonely and shallow lives. Take a look at any friend you have that is constantly angry. They are never happy. They are always frowning and they get no joy from life’s simple pleasures. Anger is the worst thing you can do. Don’t become one of those people who finds the worst in every situation. Look for the best.
Life is so short and fleeting. You could die in your sleep tonight. Make sure you live your life in a way that will allow you to pass away with no regrets. Make compassion, love, patience and energy the main pillars of your existence. If you do you will leave behind a wonderful legacy.
With that I ask you, if the average human lifespan was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? †Ω