Recently, I watched a terrific ESPN short movie (30 for 30) story about the 1983 North Carolina State basketball season led by Coach Jimmy Valvano. The team lived on the edge and beat several teams in amazing fashion on their way to an incredible NCAA championship title. Coach Valvano was at the center of this and his battle with cancer is one that will never be forgotten by anyone that followed it. The season was relived in the 30 for 30 as was the end of Valvano’s life. Valvano won an award (an ESPY) near the end of his life and gave one of the most inspiring speeches ever spoken. We are reminded about his story and fight against cancer every year (he died from cancer at 47) as his memory includes the formation of the V Foundation and their annual fund-raising drive which has raised over $100,000,000 for the fight against cancer. Read and watch entire speech here. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SPEECHES YOU WILL EVER HEAR!
Don’t wait, “Live Like You Were Dying”
Last Friday night, my wife, Soni and I went to a Tim McGraw concert and the song that had the audience singing along the most was, “Live Like You Were Dying”. Click to listen This is now my favorite song.
The lyrics in this song are beautiful and sad as they are about all the things he would do if he knew he was dying. His friend was in his early forties when the x-rays said he had cancer. Live like tomorrow is a gift, it is, and we are not promised anything so get out there and “Live Like you Were Dying”.
Several months ago we found out one of our neighbors was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. He isn’t just any neighbor. He is a father, husband and a neurosurgeon (life saver). He was extremely fit as he spent much of his free time training for Ironman fitness competition’s. Several years ago, he did one of most amazing things; he went to Iraq, by choice, to help our wounded military. This is the kind of man you can truly admire. One day he is at the top of his game, strong, fit, brilliant, loving, and a few short months later he is about to knock on heaven’s door.
Don’t wait, “Live Like You Were Dying”
Lastly, June 3rd will mark fifteen years from the day my father left and went home to Heaven. His time on earth was shorter than many as he was only 58 years old when lung cancer took his life. He was diagnosed shortly after he retired. As all of you know, losing a parent is life altering.
For me, I can’t help but wonder what he didn’t get to do that he would have liked to as part of his retirement. Again, we just don’t know what God has planned for us, so please balance your life. That means be proactive with the one commodity “time” that you have some control of.
What would you do with your time if you knew you only had one healthy year to live?
- How would you act toward the people you come across everyday?
- What activities would you plan on doing?
- Who would you spend more time with?
Why Wait to Live Like This?
This mindset motivates me to focus on making memories with my family. My starting point has been taking at least two vacations per year, but there is much more to do while I still can. This spring, I was motivated to make more memories with Soni and we are going to three big concerts in the span of a month (that’s 3 more than we have gone to in the past 10 years). The first two were a blast, I need to have this attitude all the time.
“Live Like you Were Dying”
Start by making some great plans for this summer. Make some memories.
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“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.”
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?