The adage, “live each day as your last” was once my greatest motivation. Then, I realized the lifestyle we attribute to these words isn’t sustainable. However, applying this mindset in a different, and equally transformative manner, can unlock all we wish to accomplish.
Imagine today really were your last day on Earth. Would you eat well, exercise, go to work, and fulfill all other obligations? Probably not. Now picture living each and every day this way. This life would undoubtedly be pretty awesome for the first week, maybe two, but eventually you would feel empty.
Without a vision, goals, and tangible steps to achieve these things, we crumble. It’s uncertain the true meaning behind the ideology of living each day as if it were your last, but I think it’s commonly misconstrued.
Rather than trudging through each day unfulfilled, or striving for the complete antithesis, we must navigate each day as a mission to shape ourselves into the person we wish to be remembered as.
Truly making the most of each day doesn’t mean writing off all responsibility, but rather using every moment to take responsibility for the right things, the things that shape you.
Productivity doesn’t bring the most exciting images to mind. However, living productively while also maintaining the the sense of wonderment present in the, “live each day as your last” mentality, is where everything unfolds.
Each day could be our last, but we still must hold ourselves accountable for habits that make us better people; go to the gym, eat well, work hard, and be kind. These things seem the opposite of what one would do on their last day on Earth, but that’s exactly why we must do them.
Anyone can act recklessly, abandon their responsibilities, or give up. But it takes a certain kind of person to see every action in a positive light. Become this person. View your daily commute as an act of meditation, your workout as an opportunity extend gratitude for your body, and that argument with a loved one as a chance to deepen your understanding of others.
If we are to die at any moment, wouldn’t you rather go out knowing you did all that you could to become your highest self and, in turn, help those around you? The daily chores we dread and wish we could abandon are actually our greatest blessings, they test our vision. These seeming “stressors” give us the option to live with gratitude or resentment.
With all of this in mind, we can see that it’s not the days or weeks that warrant gratitude, but the moments.
Days Versus Moments
Now that we’ve decoded the core of this old adage, lets get into the details. Rather than seizing the day, seize the moment. The foundation we lay defines all that we build upon it. Therefore, through choosing happiness (or at least gratitude) in each moment, we sew positivity for the future.
When dread meets you upon thinking about your job, commitments, workout, or other obligations, question it. Why do you feel this way? Is it because you truly dislike these responsibilities, or is it due to a narrative you’ve been told that we must hate our jobs or that we’re all inherently lazy?
Realize that the majority of our emotions are not even our own. Our reactions largely root themselves in stories our parents, society, and so on tell us. Seeing this allows the realization that fulfillment isn’t a destination, but a constant state.
Now, this doesn’t all mean that you need to settle into a lifestyle you honestly dislike.
Living each moment as your last means seeing the positivity in everything and also making decisions that unlock your highest self.
Following Your Highest Self
If you authentically believe your lifestyle holds you back, then I encourage impulsivity on all fronts. Quit your job, run that marathon out of nowhere, act irresponsibly, live!
There’s a balance we must achieve between harboring a deep gratitude for every moment and also pushing ourselves to contribute to this world in every single way that we can. If you feel you’re debilitating your highest self through your current lifestyle, then change it.
This balance isn’t easily achieved, or even necessarily achievable, but a mindset we can all strive for. It’s a state of being that we can consciously choose each day, and most importantly, each moment.