Why does it take a crisis to bring out our very best? Chris Lowney, in his book, “Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life and World,” shares in it the story of his friend Paul. A vibrant young father of two sons and the principal breadwinner for his family, Paul had been sledge hammered with an unexpected cancer diagnosis and given a few months to live.
But that was years ago. A treatment regimen transformed his death sentence into a chronic but manageable medical condition.
Still, that experience of impending death transformed his attitude toward life. Paul shared with Chris that ever since that time, “there’s no such thing as a bad day.“ He’s grateful every morning and says he takes nothing for granted. His goal in life: make every day count.
Yes he still does many of the same things he always did, the same things we all do: goes to work; phones his wife during the day; drives his kids to school; goes out with friends; etc.
For most of us, such ordinary moments seem inconsequential; we drift through them, distracted by all of the other things on our to-do list.
But not for for Paul. He shared with Chris that by remembering what he went through all those years ago, he strives to be more present during the small moments of each day. He doesn’t allow his mind to stray into the wastelands of regrets or improbable dreams. He puts his whole self into the present moment and instead of surrendering to apathy or crankiness, he approaches each day with determination and gratitude. Bottom line, Paul sees each day as a gift to be opened and celebrated.
If a few more million of us chose to live with that focus and that sense of purpose, we would transform the world into a kinder, more loving, and more just place.
Thank you Chris and thank you Paul. Let’s not wait for a crisis to begin to see our lives as the incredible gifts that they are. Let’s really begin to LIVE and let’s begin today!
Written by Matt Palmer, Co-founder and Chairman