What would you do, if you had a year to live?

This is a very uncomfortable question, because thinking about death freaks most of us out. The thought that time might run out when there is still so much I want to do really freaks me out! Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with about 300 people, celebrating the life of Wayne, the devoted husband of one of my oldest and dearest friends, who had passed away a week earlier from stomach cancer. Wayne was 57. 

Death has a way of giving us a perspective on life. The realisation that life isn’t endless comes to us in midlife when unexpectedly, people we love have their lives cut tragically short. The act of contemplating the finality of death, and the lack of warning people get that their life is about to be cut short, focuses our priorities. 

What makes for a good life, or a great life for that matter? When people feel they have no sense of direction and purpose in their lives, they don’t know what is important to them. 

A good life requires that our values guide our priorities and actions, not what society expects of us.

Values remind us that there are bigger, better and bolder things in the world than ourselves. A good life is not about how many achievements we can claim, but how well we spend our limited time on earth; how well aligned our activities are to what is important to us. Discovering our purpose is not for the faint-hearted! It is for the brave and determined and it is worth the effort. Credit goes to the person who is willing to step into the arena, and do whatever it takes to work out what makes them tick, then take action to spend more time doing what they want to do, rather than what others want them to do. 

The enemy of a great life is a good life

Once awakened, it takes effort to not fall back asleep. It is easier to sleepwalk through life than to stay in the arena doing the deep inner work, but it is SO worth the effort. A sense of purpose doesn’t just fall out of the sky and hit you on the head like an apple; you don’t just wake up one morning and have all the answers. You need to be brave and try things on for size- experiment, go on adventures and try new things. 

FEEL the discomfort of not being good at something. 

LEAN into the feeling of being a beginner and not having all the answers. 

Give yourself PERMISSION to play, experiment and fail then learn. 

Open the door to GROWTH. 

It was incredibly sad to say goodbye to Wayne yesterday, but the stories told about his life reflected that he had lived life on his terms. He loved his family, heavy metal music, his mates, his career, getting into mischief and having a great time with his friends. He packed a lifetime into half a lifetime. He left nothing on the table. He spent his life in the arena, not in the stands. Although we heard about his career achievements from his boss, it was the qualities of the man and what he stood for that that shone through. There was no doubt about the man Wayne was, inside and out. I think this qualifies as a GREAT life. 


If you are ready to write your own rulebook on how you want to live, then get in touch via my contact page and let’s get started on helping you work out what rulebook you have been living by, whats important to you, and what you’re ready to do to “do life differently”. I help people through one on one and group coaching. {For a life worth living}

Written by

Jeanette White

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