It was July 4. A middle of the week July 4 being celebrated on a Wednesday. You know. Hump Day, but a holiday? As such, I slept in and just felt like being lazy. My wife was feeling it too. I could just tell that she really didn't feel like doing much, especially not wanting to pack the house up, make food, get the kids ready and go off to the beach for a nice long day in the sun just to have to get up at 5am the next morning to go back to work. The kids were rearing to go though. And so, the struggle began.
My self-talk went back and forth between wanting to relax and being lazy for the day or to go out to deal with traffic, parking, packed beaches, etc., etc. My wife was snug on the couch with a cup of coffee. The kids were busting out the 'Daaaad. When are we going to the beach?' Oh boy….. this wasn't going to be easy.
As I struggled with my own internal battle, I suddenly, out of nowhere, thought 'What ever happened to living a life without regrets?' (which is really more about not regretting the things you don't do in life). 'What about building memories with the family?' (memories are the precious gift we leave behind with our love ones and take with us when we move on from life here on earth). 'What about all those things you promised to live by Jonny?'
I then knew what I had to do. And when I say 'had to do', its only because I was exhausted, feeling lazy and just wanted to relax. There was a loud voice in my head that reminded me, 'Don't regret the things you did not do and build memories with the family.' It suddenly became a 'no brainer.' A kick in the butt that I so desperately needed. It's really about having a 'Life Plan.' A plan that guides you on a journey of living a life of no regrets. If you don't have a Life Plan, you NEED to get one! If you don't, you risk lying on your death bed saying 'Why didn't I…….' You know the ending!
I announced to the family, 'Lets pack up cause we're hitting the beach.' I set my mind where it needed to be and went on autopilot doing what I had to do to get on the road. Like they say, 'the hardest part about working out is putting your shoes on and tying them!'
We had a beautiful ride over the mountains. The sun was shining bright. Big white, puffy clouds dotted the gorgeous blue sky. The mountains were beautifully plush in vibrant green. Oh, and the water! Sparkling in the sunlight and as crystal clear as drinking water.
When we arrived, we immediately jumped in the water and the entire family swam together for the first time since my recent cancer surgery. My 6 year old daughter learned how to snorkel for the first time and was amazed by the amazing underwater world. My son and I snorkeled together across a coral reef, laughing at silly tropical fish and we spent time swimming side by side along with a sea turtle. We snacked on the beach. Made some new friends. Took family pictures and had an absolute blast!
What if we never got out of the house that day? What if I didn't really buy into that old clichÃ©. Look at all the 'life' we would have missed. The family time we would have forgone. The people we wouldn't have met. The photos left out of the family photo album. The family memories lost.
So here's the bottom line. Don't be a statistic. Don't live a life of 'woulda, coulda, shoulda.' Don't risk lying on your deathbed with unfinished business. Get out and love life, love people and love living. Be kind and be a giver. Be an example of who Abraham Lincoln was talking about when he said, 'In the end, it's not the years in your life that counts. It's the life in your years'.
In Real Life, one of the greatest ways to create value in the world is helping others EnRich their lives….