What if you had one more day to live? Would that change the way you lived today? And why?

Life is a long sequence of sunrises followed by sunsets — thousands to be literally correct. Too often, we dismiss days off the calendar like we mindlessly dip our hand into a bag of chips. The start and finish similarly thoughtless.

Again, why? Why wait until a wakeup call to lead your life by design, guided by what defines you, your dreams and your values? Why not make your life yours?

To be honest, we’ve all gone stretches of life with our heads boring into the wind, telling ourselves this too will pass. And for the most part, those moments are an essential part of building character, demonstrating to ourselves we can survive the worst life can throw at us. Nothing builds confidence like earning a victory by your own sweat and determination.

But do we also understand those moments, as necessary as they are to our development, are designed to be temporary markers in life for us to rise up and build a better version of ourselves?

Time is a great teacher. Along the way we learn to understand not too much in life is worth getting worked up about. Grudges tend to cheat us from important relationships, and the fear of trying or doing new things is akin to being afraid of your own shadow.

I know I’ve been blessed beyond anything in my dreams. I met the most wonderful woman in the world. Together, we built a beautiful family and survived everything from not having money to buy a package of diapers to holding hands for possibly one last time before a surgery.

But in the end, which could be today as likely as any day, life has made each of us stronger and more resilient to whatever is ahead.

Life should be lived one day at a time — but on your terms. Too often, the world would like us to sign on like we do for cable television and simply accept what comes out on the other end. Unfortunately, like what comes out of your television, most of it is crap.

I’m not the smartest guy in the room and most likely never have been or will be. But life has helped me see taking notes and acting on what is most important to me is the difference between genuine fulfillment and helpless anxiety. It’s my responsibility to use my God-given tools to create and shape the world around me.

I tell my children, now adults, that life is hard. But I also tell them you will more likely regret the opportunities you don’t take than those you will. Our minds want us to be safe; life, however, wants us to evolve, grow and drink it in.

Before you figure out how to live life tomorrow, make sure the one you are living today is one you would have no regrets of turning off the light switch one final time.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com.

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(1) comment

George Laiacona

I must admit that I am one of those people who died on the operating table at John Sealey back in ‘76. I didn’t see those bright lights that others were talking about, but I did manage to run around the surface of the sun for 9 weeks. When they kicked me out and sent me back to earth, I found out that I was already in heaven. This experience has helped me to realize that every human on earth has a heart and a mind who’s is their conscience. How we use our feelings towards others depends on how we were brought up by our parents. I have no reason to change what I experienced, but I can offer advice, that is to treat everyone as you would like to be treated.

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