Live Each Day Like It Is Your Last

Morbid? Maybe. True? Absolutely. I’ve come to the realization that the concept of putting in your time and effort just to get a paycheck, save for retirement and put off living your life until your older is a futile attempt at keeping citizens of a capitalist society in check. Since as far back as I can remember I have been living the life that I thought I was supposed to be living.

Do well in school, go to college and get a job. Stay at a job you aren’t passionate about, put up with your commute to work and stick with the status quo. Buy the latest gadgets, watch too much television and collapse in bed each night dreading the next morning to come. I don’t know about how you live your life, but I’m done living like that.

My Life Will Change

By the end of this year I have vowed to myself to make a major change in my life. Come January 1st, 2012 I plan to look back at 2011 as the end of one journey in my life and the start of another.

I don’t want to work FOR the man, I want to BE the man. My thoughts on how I feel about life right now can best be summarized by a quote from Steve Job’s commencement speech at Standford in 2005.

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” - Steve Jobs

The answer for me each morning has been a resounding no for way too long. Here is how I am going to change it.

Plan Out the Next Year

I have already spent time determining what my passions are and what I want to spend my life energy doing for the next few years, so what I need to do next is make a plan and stick to it. I have already begun looking at my finances to plan the change and I just need to set the goal amounts in stone.

If I want to live each day like it is my last then I need to make an escape plan from the current grind. By laying out a plan I will be able to tell others about it and hold myself accountable to it. Putting the escape date and countdowns on a calendar will also be a big motivation for me to save what I need, put the framework in place and take the final steps to make the change.

Change What You Are Doing Today

There are changes that align with my plan for the year that I can work on right away. Working on this site directly relates to my goal, as does having a healthier diet and exercise routine. Saving money by not spending needlessly on things that don’t bring me value will allow me to follow through with my plan.

I have been a chronic procrastinator for years. Recently I have started to do the tasks I have been putting off for far too long. I have also been flagging fewer tasks for later and just dealing with them in batches right away. A big reason why I have been able to do this is Leo Babauta’s latest ebook, The Little Guide to Un-Procrastination (non-affiliate link). I am only recommending this because it has truly changed my life in just the single week I have been using the tactics described by the book.

Put What Is Most Important First

Don’t start the day by checking your email, fighting the fires or dreading the day. Decide what the most important thing you want to accomplish that day is and do that first. Once you are able to start living a life of action instead of one of reaction you can really change the direction your life is headed.

By focusing more on what you spend your time doing you can avoid the feeling of time being wasted. Instead of going through the day relying on a schedule set up by others, create your own. Spend a few minutes at the start of the day deciding how your day will look before you start responding to voicemails, emails and tasks on your to do list. If you spend your days doing what is most important to you, they will be more satisfying and you will be happier.

How are you going to live your life? Are you going to keep plodding along, waiting for the day when you have saved up enough money to retire? Or are you going to live your life to the fullest, one day at a time?

If you think life is too short to keep putting off your dreams, please share this post below. People need to start living each day of their life like it is their last.