Have you ever had one of those days that was a "really important" day in your life?
Of course you have - we all have those days. Whether it is a big meeting with a potential client, an interview for a new job or promotion, or even something important that happens in your personal life - a graduation, marriage, birth of a child, or any other event that makes that day feel important to you. The more days we have like that, the more fulfilling and enriched our lives become.
There are, however, what I believe to be the four MOST important days of your life.
This one is easy...the day you came into this world is by far one of the most important days of your life. Without it, you wouldn't be here and the world wouldn't be the same!
I know that there are some people who celebrate this day each and every year - they look forward to it and enjoy it, because after all - it's YOUR day. There are others who view this as "just another day" and don't want anyone to make a fuss about it. Either way, I believe it is one of the four most important days of your life and everyone should treat it as such.
Think about this - it has been well documented that the odds of you even being born are 400 trillion to 1. That is an insane statistic. I highly doubt anyone in Vegas would place ANY bet on those odds. Based on that statistic, you are a miracle and should celebrate that!
Take time on your birthday to recognize the fact that you deserve to be celebrated. Whether it is filled with fanfare, tons of people, and a huge event - or it is low-key, spent with someone you care deeply about, and is quietly celebrated, spend time actually celebrating the fact that the world was blessed to have you in it for another year.
The Day You Find Your "Partner for Life"
If you already have found your "partner for life", then congratulations, you've experienced two out of the four most important days of your life. What designates someone as a "partner for life"? I believe there are several traits that qualify in order to fall into that designation.
A partner for life should be someone who you care about deeply and, in turn, cares about you deeply. This person is someone who will be by your side for the rest of your life (hence the term...partner for life). If you are down, they pick you up. If you are up, they work to help keep you there. They truly care about and are interested in what is happening with you.
This person also needs to be someone you can trust - someone you can reveal your true colors to without judgement. When they say they will do something or be somewhere, you know, without fail, they will do it. Even when there are disagreements, you know they will have your back.
Your partner for life should be someone you genuinely enjoy spending time with. Although I am a firm believer that the only person responsible for my happiness is me, I also feel that a partner for life should be someone who you look forward spending time with. They should make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, challenge you (respectfully of course), push you to become a better version of yourself, push you to chase your dreams and be willing to live those dreams out with you. They should also be someone who is willing to have you do the same for them.
Everyone needs to find their partner for life - sometimes it could take longer than you might want, but when you find them, you'll know it. I am lucky that I found mine 19 years ago and get to spend the rest of my life with her. That day was definitely one of the four most important days of my life.
The Day Before You Die
I hope this day is many, many years from now, but I believe it still qualifies as one of the most important days of your life. Why?
On the day before you die, you will look back on your life and recall all of the people you've met, all of the places you've been, all of the things you've done, and all of the relationships you've fostered over the years. This will be the last time you will get to spend with people who care about you - the last time you will get to hear their voices, see their faces, feel their touch. You will get to smile as you think about the legacy you are leaving behind. You get to go out on your own terms and feel at ease knowing that you were able to do all of the things you wanted to do in your life.
This is one of the most important days of your life.
The most important day of your life is indeed, today.
What you did yesterday - whether it was one of the best days, or a day that you never want to repeat, doesn't matter today because you cannot go back to change anything about yesterday (or any other day). What you do today is what is most important which makes it THE most important day of your life.
If someone asked you, "what is your purpose in life?" - could you answer them with 100% confidence and certainty? If so, fantastic! Unfortunately, there are far too many people out there who cannot answer that question with confidence and certainty. They are working at a job to survive, to just get by, to be satisfied with simply being entertained by Netflix, their social media accounts, or what shows up on their TV screens each night. That is not living a life of purpose!
Each of us have a life purpose - whether you know what it is or not, you have one.
Go back to the day before you die. If what I described on that day feels uncomfortable to you because you're not sure that you would be surrounded by people who care about you (or there wouldn't be very many of them), or you are unclear about the legacy you will be leaving behind - then it is up to you to do something about it. When does that day begin - TODAY!
We are all capable of tapping into our minds and choosing how we show up each day. Are there circumstances that present difficult challenges for us? Of course there are, but when we choose our attitude and think about the positive aspects of our lives, we are putting ourselves in the driver's seat in working through those difficult challenges.
Think about it this way - if you aren't dead, you have something to live for. If you are alive, what is the purpose in your life that is worth dying for?
This is easier said than done. For most people, it takes practice - daily practice. Building and developing good daily habits that help you become more mindful about living for today, understanding your worth, getting clear about your purpose, and taking action to live out that purpose. That is what making today the most important day is all about.
A few simple exercises for those who need help getting started with defining their purpose:
-Think about "the day before you die"
**Who do you want to be by your side on that day?
-----What are you doing today in order to ensure that you are fostering a relationship with those people?
-----Call, visit, write, text - commit to taking an action today to the people you care about the most
**What places do you want to visit?
-----Write down the top 5 places you want to visit
-----Out of the top 5, write down the top one on your list
-----Research how much this is going to cost you (flight, hotel, entertainment budget)
-----Write down when you want to go
-----Begin setting aside money today to go on that trip (after you've gone on the first one, do the same exercise for the next, and the next - until you've visited all of them) - it doesn't have to be much to begin with...you just need to start today
**What do you want your legacy to be?
-----Write down what you dream you would want your life to look like 50 years from now - do it today
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 25 years from now to ensure you were on track at the 50 year mark
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 10 years from now to ensure you were on track at the 25 year mark
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 5 years from now to ensure you were on track at the 10 year mark
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 1 year from now to ensure you were on track at the 5 year mark
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 6 months from now to ensure you were on track one year from now
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 3 months from now to ensure you were on track 6 months from now
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 1 month from today to ensure you were on track 3 months from now
-----Now write down what you would need to be doing 1 week from today to ensure you were on track 1 month from now
-----Now write down what you need to start doing today to ensure that you are on track one week from now
As Gary Keller (co-founder, chairman and CEO of Keller Williams) put it - "when your life is on purpose, living by priority takes precedence". Make it a priority to discover your purpose and begin taking action on living it today.
This is your life - today is the most important day of your life. Live it today - live it everyday that you get the opportunity to do so. Your life is a miracle!