This is a new day. A new beginning. And things will change.
This morning I was jogging along a nature path near my home when a woman I had just passed began screaming for help. I turned around to see that her husband had fallen to the ground and appeared to be unconscious. I ran over and checked his pulse. He barely had one, and he was not breathing. The woman called 911 on her mobile phone while I performed CPR on her husband. Somehow, miraculously, I got him in a more stabilized state before the paramedics arrived. And although I have no idea how this couple’s story will end, I’m optimistically hopeful.
Now I’m sitting here reflecting on the whole incident, and especially on the words the woman repeated over and over through heavy tears as I was attending to her husband: “It’s not his time. Oh please, it’s not his time!”
Her words keep echoing in my mind, reminding me that life is fragile and fleeting, and that I need to start allocating my time properly again. Life has been extremely busy lately, and certain things have fallen by the wayside. But enough is enough! It’s time to revive and resume the positive daily rituals that best serve my well-being and my relationships. And I hope YOU will join me.
Think about it…
- It’s time to start taking better care of yourself again. – You are like a building with stained-glass windows. You always shimmer and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in your true magnificence is revealed only if there is light shining from within you. It’s your duty, and yours alone, to keep your inner light shining bright. So learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, or disregarding others. Rather, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart and mind—a guest worthy of extra care. Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it. That’s a great way to start.
- It’s time to start indulging in your passions and hobbies again. – Do fall in love, not always with a person, but with an aim, an ambition, a passion. If you lost everything but your mind, heart and health, what would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile? There’s definitely a fire burning inside you. It’s your job to find it and keep it lit. As we grow older, with all of our responsibilities, our passions and hobbies often seem like an indulgence. They shouldn’t be. They should be a requirement. Even if you can only dedicated 20 minutes a day to something you love, DO IT. No excuses, no regrets.
- It’s time to start spreading joy again. – BE the change you want to see. Love fearlessly and without limits. No act of love or kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to improve the lives of those around you. Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’s happiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone. Focus on assisting one person at a time, and start with the one closest to you.
- It’s time to start up quality conversations with loved ones again. – Death is a real challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to make time right now to tell each other that we love each other. It tells us to stop texting and tweeting every second and actually open the floodgates to real, long, heartfelt conversations with the people we love. Relationships flourish when two people are able to share their innermost feelings and thoughts about themselves and each other. To be fully heard by someone, in raw form, and be adored anyhow, is what true love is. Making time for these deep connections and conversations is worth it. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of our New York Times bestselling book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs.)
- It’s time to start listening to others (without judgment) again. – Be selective in your battles. Let go a bit and just listen and smile. Most of the time being peaceful and compassionate is far better than being right. So keep in mind that wisdom is not just knowing when to stand up and speak, but when to sit down quietly and listen. It’s about knowing that your ears will never get you in trouble, and will always give you a chance to learn something new.
- It’s time to start enjoying peaceful downtime again. – You deserve quiet moments away from the daily hustle, in which no problems are confronted, no solutions are explored, and no demands are being made of your time. Schedule time every day to not be busy. At least twice a day, withdraw yourself from the sources of stress that refuse to withdraw from you. Do so for a few minutes and simply be and breathe. Don’t fool yourself; you’re not so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity.
- It’s time to start reading good books again. – Books are truly the perfect entertainment: no advertisements, no batteries, hours of delight and education, and no cost with a library card. What you have to ask yourself is: Why not carry a book around for those inevitable gaps of wasteful waiting time—five minutes here and ten minutes there. Bring that dead time back to life. And remember, it is what you read and learn when you don’t have to that determines what you will be capable of when you have no other choice.
- It’s time to start cooking real, wholesome food again. – Your body is a temple. You are what you eat. So do not eat processed food, fast food, and all the filth the big processed food companies try to pass off as “healthy.” Most foods that you don’t have to prepare manually statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease. Do they taste good? Sure. It’s all well-seasoned, pre-packaged poison. This is why so many people are sick—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—because of being hooked to the taste of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. (Read Super Immunity.)
- It’s time to start allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes again. – The greatest mistake many of us make is living in constant fear that we will make one. Life is just too short to berate yourself for making mistakes. After all, mistakes in life are as certain as sunsets and detours. So why exert energy avoiding the unavoidable? The truth is you aren’t really free until you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes. So liberate yourself! Cut yourself some slack. Shift your energy from protecting yourself from failure to squeezing more life out of every one of your days.
- It’s time to start celebrating the small victories of each day again. – Sure, not every day will be good, but there will be something good about every day. Notice these things and celebrate them. Train your mind to see what’s right. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life heavily depends on the quality of your thoughts.
(Note: Marc and I customize and implement all of the aforementioned points with our students in the Getting Back to Happy Course & Coaching.)
The floor is yours…
Truth be told, the most important decision you will ever make is what you do with the time that is given to you. Let every day be a part of a dream you can touch. Let every day contain love you can feel. Let every day be a great example of a life truly lived.
Leave a comment below and let us know…
What do you need to start making time for again?
(Finally, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.)
Gina Lee says
This is such a timely post for me right now – I buried my father this weekend and definitely have re-valued and re-assessed how I spend my time. Family and friends are truly important and I want to be able to say “I’m glad I spent time with them” and have no regrets in not spending quality time with them.
I really value your emails, your book, your course, and everything you share – especially in times like this. Thank you.
maha odeh says
may your dad rest in Peace?
I need to spend more time realizing and celebrating all the little achievements and changes that have made a difference in my life. For too long I had been trying to make big changes all at once and it never worked. Now I’m making lots of little bits of progress here and there, but I rarely give myself the pat on the back I deserve.
Also, thank you for Think Better Live Better 2019! I attended with my wife and we both took a lot away from it.
Kristy King says
Thanks so much for this post. I often think of how short life is, but it’s hard to know what I should do differently to better reflect that.
I would add that we should make time to really think about what our values and priorities are, so we know where to focus our efforts.
How incredible that you were part of saving this man’s life! It’s interesting how we automatically resist death, which naturally I understand in the heat of the moment. But, the truth is, it can come at anytime and it doesn’t matter how young or old we are.
Knowing this, I really take your suggestions to heart. Especially spreading joy and having deep, intimate conversations with others. But, I also just took a walk in nature and that was nice too!
Adrian Georgel says
Thanks for this 🙂
#8 is pretty important for me as I have been eating a diet of takeaway recently. Time to sort that out lol!
What a lovely positive and encouraging blog! Thank you for helping me kickstart another week with a smile and a positive and grateful attitude.
These are wonderful reminders, Angel! I’m preparing to head into the next stage of my life (retirement) in just a few weeks and I think these need to among my top priorities. Thanks to you and Marc for sharing your insights and inspirations every day. There are just so many ways that we can make our lives (and the world) better!
Mark ~ I have 29 more days to go until I retire as well!
This post hits home with me, as these are the reasons I am retiring at 62 instead of going for 66 and 8 months!
So much has happened in our family during the past 7 years, and our lives have been like a roller coaster ride.
I know that it is time for me to get off the ride and pay attention to the things that are most important to me!
THANKS FOR THIS IMPORTANT REMINDER!!!
This is the first thing I read this morning and it put into words EXACTLY all the thoughts I’ve been having lately. No more waiting to get validation from others! My children are grown and know they are loved. I have to take care of myself now. Thank you for the reminder.??
Pat Sweeney says
Very well done. I will keep this message close.
Thank you for this post. I am grappling with a life-altering diagnosis, and these reminders are all excellent ways to keep me out of the fog of “why me, why now”.
This is a great list, and ironically, I’ve already been having inner dialogue to do them daily. This reinforces what I’ve already been feeling and thinking, and I will gleefully share it, because it applies to everyone.
Perla milner says
Make each day count?
Ann C says
It’s about knowing that your ears will never get you in trouble, and will always give you a chance to learn something new. Loved that sentence from #5. I spent a week with a friend who needed to do a lot of venting. This sentence reminded me of the things I learned listening, just listening to her.
Unexpected losses bring us to a new point of evaluating our lives and where we are headed, each and every time.
Great post! Thank you.
Stephanie D. Lewis says
I adored this! And #9 about living in constant fear of making mistakes reminds me of the Henry James short story “The Beast in the Jungle.” He made his entire world about trying to avoid the awful tragedy that he was certain awaited him. In the end it was clear that his greatest tragedy was his refusal to really live a full life, out of trying to protect himself from some imagined horrific fate and he denied himself a relationship with one special woman because he didn’t want to subject her to his unfortunate destiny. An ironic tale indeed and much of what is listed here reminds me of it. I am in a new relationship now and at first I focused on doing everything correctly and avoiding the mistakes of my past to the point of shifting the discovery of a new love to more of a research project! Ugh. Thanks for the high quality reminders and wake-up calls. I love your blog!
What a wonderful reminder!
In 4 days time John and I will have been married 60 years, he is 90 I am nearly 89 and sometimes we need kind, clever reminders that time is limited to us now.
With no family we must care for each other.
God bless you, when you have been together as long as we have may you still be as happy as you are today.
With love ?? from us both
We don’t need to wait for the day to count, we gonna make it count. Nice motivation.
Rhonda McGee says
My favorite post so far! Thank you for the message.
Though I’d consider that a big thing than a little thing to make time for, I don’t think I could go on for very long without having the urge to schedule dinner plans with my family.
Thank you for this article. 🙂
Michael Brown says
Great topic and insights! I need to begin the daily ritual of each day, celebrating the small daily victories. Funny, I have so many but yet I tend to focus on the loses. This will stop. Thank you!
I have been watching a youtuber recently that gave this very message but said it in a different way – make time for yourself and your passions; make time for your loved ones, eat healthy, be active, etc. I’ve started my way back to doing these things. Baby steps, but consciously making time for me. I started walking on my lunch hour at a local park. Being outside makes me feel good inside. There’s much truth to all the points in your message. You have to take care of yourself, because no one else can do it for you. Thank you for a timely and thoughtful post. And thank you for all of your inspirational messages.
Henly Dopo says
Thank you very much for sharing another powerful message again. I’m always motivated by your touching noted. Keep on sharing so untouched lives can be touched.
All the way from The South Pacific – Papua New Guinea