If you were to receive news today that you had six months to live, what three pieces of advice would you leave with your loved ones?
I read this question in a writing forum recently. My initial reaction was shock, followed by fear, and then a little sadness. But as I thought about it, I was amazed at how quickly the answers came to me. The first two were almost immediate. The third took me a little bit longer since I was committing to the three most important life lessons I’ve learned so far.
As I looked at the three lessons I wrote down, I reflected on how they echo my values. These lessons reveal my struggles and triumphs. They tell the story of where I find joy. They define my top three priorities.
Before you continue reading, take a few minutes and write down the three most important pieces of advice you would leave for those closest to you.
This is what I discovered is most important to me.
My first piece of advice is Enjoy the Journey. It’s no surprise this is number one. I haven’t been shy about how I spent the first part of my life waiting for someday. Every day is filled with miracles, yet it’s easy to get caught in the monotony of work, chores, and alarm clocks. I bet there are some pretty awesome things that will happen to you today. Pay attention and take a moment to enjoy them. They might not happen again.
A close second is Be True to Yourself. Throughout our lives, we are bombarded with messages about how we should look, how we should act, and what we should think. Yet, each and every one of us is so unique it seems silly to try to act the same. We can’t really shine until we understand who we are and how we’re wired. Once we embrace our unique abilities and start taking action, the sky’s the limit. Take a step out of your comfort zone today and let the true you shine.
Last but not least, Give and Don’t Hold Back. This may seem counterintuitive to the messages we see daily that say, ‘get, get, get.’ Get that Lexus, buy this handbag, and eat this tonight. But I have found that true happiness is in giving.
I’m convinced that we must give before we can experience true success. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.” The secret to happiness and success isn’t, what can I get? The secret is asking ourselves, what can I give?
Take some time this weekend and think about the three pieces of advice you would leave. Think about why they are important to you. Think about how you can work these three things into your daily life. After all, this is what’s most important to you, isn’t it?
What three pieces of advice would you leave as your legacy?
Why are they important to you?
Share in the comments below.