You're probably not going to live to be 100.
Yeah, it's a bummer. But was that really your goal, anyway?
Even though I love the idea of turning 100 (it'll be one hell of a party if I ever make it), I view this age landmark as a little extra icing on top of the cake of life. Too many people use the "100 landmark" as an excuse for not taking action now. They fail to realize that you create your cake of life with every breath you take.
First and foremost, I want my cake-o-life to taste damn dee-lish. I want it to be a multi-layered confection of funfetti and devil's food (my favorite flavors and also representative of my personality). I want to fill that cake batter with succulent life experiences, French macarons, sugary-sweet friends, and at least five gazillion cups of laughter (and a dirty joke or two).
You're probably not going to live to be 100. Build your cake-o-life accordingly.
Why not live every day as if it were your last (or second-to-last, because on my last day of life I'd like to go skydiving and get drunk on fancy champagne)? Every day of your human existence deserves to be as exciting as skydiving and champagne. Every. Single. Day.
Back in college (before my skydiving, champagne drinking days), a lovely professor actually gave me the assignment to LIVE AS IF I WERE DYING. Eight years later, I still credit this assignment to pushing me to move to France and start my blog.
I'm going to give you the same assignment.
Are you ready?
You're going to want at least 30 minutes of solitude. Light a candle if you're feeling frisky. Get out a piece of paper or a nice journal.
WARNING: if you complete this exercise correctly you will cry, laugh, and feel more ALIVE than you've felt in a loooong time. You'll surprise yourself. You'll start seeing the world differently - better.
Ready? Set? Write.
QUESTION ONE: If you had 20 years to live, what would you do? How would you live differently?
QUESTION TWO: If you had 10 years, how would that change? How old would you be?
QUESTION THREE: If you had one year left to live, how would you spend it? How would you behave? What would you feel like?
QUESTION FOUR: If you had one day left on Earth, how would you spend it?
Here are some things that came up for me:
: Appreciate both lightness + darkness, happiness + sadness, the whole spectrum.
: Fully accept the present moment with no effort to change it.
: Release all grudges. Total forgiveness.
: Give away all of my possessions. Relinquish attachment to people, places, and things.
: Visit every continent.
: Spend time with people less fortunate than me - the poor, the elderly, the uneducated + illiterate, the sick, the dying.
: Run a marathon.
: Mediate daily.
: Take more risks and go on more adventures.
: See the Olympics.
: Spend extravagant amounts of money on elaborately enlightening programs.
: Live in a state of gratitude, peace, and awe.
: Cook delicious meals every day.
: Laugh more. At everything. Even serious stuff.
: Sit in the sunshine. Stare at the stars.
Look at what you've learned about yourself. How can you apply it to live today with a little more pizzazz?