Travis Barton is a life coach and speaker who has an absolute lust for an extraordinary life and all it has to offer. His advice is some of the best I have heard, and I have benefited personally from it. This article about making your “story” as amazing as it can be is something I also believe in wholeheartedly.
WRITE AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY
We’re all gonna die!!! That is one thing that everyone on this planet has in common. The first time I learned about dying, I might have been 5 years old. My grandmother had picked me up from school and as we were walking home she told me the news that my great grandmother had passed away. She was no longer here… I would never get to see her again. Now, this didn’t make sense to me. Why did this happen to her? Where did she go? And would this happen to me? On that day, I learned that yes… one day, I would no longer be here. One day I would never see my loved ones again. I’d never have the chance to catch up on the things that I always wanted to do. On that day, I learned about dying, the knowledge that the worst thing that could possibly happen to us, one day will… and it scared me. During my youth, those Summer months were precious and those back to school sales were always kind of looming, letting us kids know that we better live it up this Summer because come September it was back to the grind. This was something much bigger than back to school sales though. For most people it’s a terrifying concept that we choose to not think about. We don’t want to touch that mystery of being so temporary but what if the knowledge of our impending death isn’t a burden? What if being temporary is in fact a gift? People of the past have pondered all these questions. “Momento Mori” is a Latin reminder that literally translates to “remember that you will die.” The phrase Carpe Diem takes it a step further by reminding us to “Seize the day,” make every day count.
What would happen to our days if we had no concept of death? What would we spend our time doing if we were ignorant of the fact that one day, we will cease to be?
Years ago, I was reading a book of poems and I stumbled on something by Emily Dickinson. It said, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet”, and right there it hit me like a two ton truck. And I realized just like that very book of poems I was reading. It had a beginning and an end… a birth and a death. It didn’t matter if the book was an epic the size of Homer’s “The Odyssey” or a short children’s book the size of Dr. Suess’ “The Cat in the Hat”., all that mattered was that what was written in those pages was a good story! Our lives like this and all books had a finite number of pages. A certain amount of pages to craft a hopefully great story. If books had an infinite number of pages the authors would spend hundreds or thousands of pages writing boring, useless things, but they don’t. The great authors make every page count. Every sentence count. So, like the pages in a book, we only have so many days in our lives. The knowledge that one day our story will run out is what makes each page a precious gift.
Everyone loves money and nice things like a fast car or a big house, but time is really our only commodity and treasure. Time is the thing we will never get back. How we spend our time is what really makes us rich! Will we spend our time worrying? Will we spend our time fighting with the people we love? By the time we get to chapter 88, will we wish we actually called mom or visited our brother more between chapters 18-50? Will we wish we had said I love you more? Will we wish we had just sucked it up and booked that ticket halfway across the globe? Will we be a few pages away from those words “The End” and wish we had written a better story for ourselves?
Make the rest of your story one for the ages. Say I love you more, take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Don’t say “We’ll laugh about this years from now!” Laugh about it today! When you wake up tomorrow a new, blank page has been given to you… what will you do with it?