You would not expect such a line on a positive blog, but let me explain. This line is attributed to the Sioux Chief Crazy Horse. It may have been actually said by a different man, Low Dog first, but the idea is the same. The idea behind it is that we must live life so that if we were to meet an untimely demise, we would pass on with no regrets. I always understood the idea behind this phrase intellectually, but it has only been the last few years that I have really felt it in my spirit.
In about a month, I will be having open-heart surgery. Although the doctor is fairly confident, it still has a good amount of risk. Facing death is one of the best ways to give life a truer sense of meaning. Knowing there is a chance that death could be around the corner, can intensify your experience of life. Everything becomes more precious. Colors are more vibrant, times with friends become precious moments. You feel compelled to make sure everyone you care about that knows exactly how you feel. You live life with a overwhelming feeling of gratitude. This feeling is not only for all that we have, but even the challenges in life and for our life in general.
I feel fortunate to have been blessed to learn this lesson. There was a few ways in which this came to be so powerful for me. I would like to share them with you. Why? Because this is the way we should live. The sad and somewhat scary truth is that any day we have may be our last. When we discovered my heart issue, I was feeling on top of the world, yet without surgery, I was a walking timebomb. My heart stands the chance of literally exploding any day. As you can imagine, the prognosis after that would happen would not be good. There are many situations, most that are beyond our control, that could severely shorten our life expectancy. We should live our life accordingly.
It doesn’t have to take facing a serious health challenge or even realizing one could arise tomorrow to motivate us to live life to the fullest. I am going to give you two more ways in which this philosophy was driven home to me. The first is actually a very positive one. I can describe in one word the miraculous event that made me want to live life as the best possible version of myself and appreciate every breath that I take. That one word? Margie. Meeting a woman who genuinely cares so deeply for me and works so hard to be the best person she can be leaves me feeling thankful she chose me to share her life with. (Or did I chose her? The debate rages on.) Having someone who loves you, whether that is a parent, a child, a dog or, like in my case, the most beautiful woman on the planet, really fires up a desire inside of you to give them the best of everything. The surest way to have the best relationship you can is to work on becoming the best person you can. You may want to read that last line several times.
The most recent lesson of living your life in such a manner that it would be “a good day to die” is legacy. Years ago, I did a video for my YouTube channel (Neil Panosian) about writing your own eulogy. The purpose of that is to really focus on the kind of person you would like to be remembered as. This ties in with the love I have for my lady. I believe the worst feeling to have when you are facing death or the death of someone you care greatly for is not loss, but regret. When they ask people who were facing their earthly demise what they regretted about their lives the most, it was not the mistakes or the crazy things they had done. No, what a person who knows their time is drawing short regrets is things they have not done and have not tried. It is also realizing that the little things are the big things. I would love to treat Margie to everything her heart desires. I want to make all of her dreams come true. If I knew I only had a little time left, I would want to know I made her life, and every life I came in contact with a little better for my being here. I also would want to treasure some of the little things more. I would want to sit across the table from her sipping a cup of great coffee and letting her beautiful smile melt my heart. I would want to lay in bed next to her and wrap my arms around her and feel close to the woman I love so much.
Never knowing when a moment will be the last has us savoring it so much. Finding out I needed this dangerous surgery really gave us a stark reminder of that fact. Finding such an amazing woman had me knowing it all along. I encourage you to take a step back from your busy life to realize how fragile and precious it is. Those we love may not be here tomorrow and we may not be either. That is why we must enjoy every day, every moment and every breath. We must appreciate them for the priceless gifts that they are. We must live our lives so full that it would be a good day to die.
In my life I have been surrounded by great friends and family. I have had the opportunity to use the gifts that the creator has given me to bring joy to others. I have the privilege of loving what I believe to be the most beautiful woman I have ever known. My heart has known the great love that she has returned to me. There is certainly a lot more I wish and desire to accomplish and share, but my life has been good and if I were to leave this world today, it would be a good day to die.