Much to my sadness a couple of days ago I learned that one of my sister's childhood best friends passed away. Sad...yes. Surprised...no because I knew that she had been in hospice for the past year with terminal cancer.
She was young, way too young. However, when I read through her obituary a sense of peace came to me and brought a pleasant smile to my face. Her life was full of exciting travel, adventure and envious career paths. This is when I realized while her life was short in years; her years were so full of life. And this got me thinking. If I were to read my own obituary as if I died tomorrow what would I think? Would I feel the same (or close to the same) way? Would I have lived a life that would make people feel at peace? How do you feel if you ask yourself these questions?
Long ago my one of my friends was in a life transition so she hired a life coach to help her find direction. She told me that this coach used an analogy that I won't soon forget. It's called the "howling dog". In this story a man named Tom moves into a new house and the neighbor's dog incessantly howls day in and day out, yet seemingly ignored by the owner. After days of this behavior, Tom finally approaches the owner and asks "Why does he keep howling?" He replied "Oh that's cause he's sitting on a nail." Tom asks "So why doesn't he just get away from the nail?" And the owner replied "Well Tom, that's because he doesn't find it painful enough yet."
I'm sure you get the point. And either you yourself or someone you know is that dog sitting on the nail whether it be a job nail, relationship nail, financial nail, fitness nail, etc. Let's face it we all have our own "nail" or two; something we are unhappy with in our life yet we continue to "live with it" despite our unhappiness. These nails control us by telling us that we are powerless in getting off of them. By reading this, you likely have conjured up what yours just might be.
I want to share one more story with you. I had a client that was miserable at her job, and it really showed. She would show up looking tired, frustrated and felt out of control. After struggling with her career for quite some time she had had enough and went back to school at 38 years old to follow her passion. I spoke with her the other day and she said that she couldn't be happier with her decision and couldn't believe that she let herself be unhappy for that long. I was thrilled that she had found happiness and she was glowing.
I want to challenge you and myself to acknowledge your nails and think about trying to get off of them, or taking steps to make them less painful. For example, if you eat fast food every day, instead of going to the extreme of eating strictly carrot sticks and kale, attempt to cut back to 2 or 3 days a week of fast food, and go from there. And so on, and so on. Maybe you could even go as far as to actually write a mock obituary about yourself and learn if this is how you want to be remembered.
In summary, although I am sure my sister's friend had her own struggles in her short life but it didn't seem like regret was one of them. Possibly the biggest "regrets" may have been not having enough time to keep doing what she loved. But at the moment, that is one thing you do have; TIME so use it to fill your years with life and stop sitting around howling. Have a great couple of weeks readers!!