Once I realized that any day could be my last, I woke up. That's not cliché, it's a fact.
If you listen to most motivational speeches, you will undoubtedly hear something about living each day like you won't have tomorrow. As you scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you will find several memes, videos and GIFs all conveying the same message, this day matters; each day matters! I fear that the constant obsession with this statement may have reduced its impact for many people, but, for me, it is a constant reminder of how grateful I should be for each and every day, for each person.
Take a second think about your last 24 hours. How many small arguments, disputes or negative interactions did you have? How many texts and calls did you ignore, not because you were developed in working toward your passion, but because you were simply annoyed? If the answer is zero, good for you, I am jealous. Even when the arguments don't reach the surface, I can look back and identify so many negative thoughts that simply just don't serve me or the people I care about, mostly because I am taking their interactions for granted.
The more I reflect on this question, the more I challenge my current way of thinking. What if I could think differently? What if I could use the small annoyances or negative feelings to serve me in some way, or even avoid some of them altogether? And after repeatedly asking these questions, what if I realized that I needed to change my frame of reference? What if I learned to appreciate each and every interaction, whether it was positive or negative, simply because our time is finite yet Love is abundant?
I am not saying to literally assume that you are going to die each and every day. The point isn't to create unwarranted anxiety and pressure at the thought of our own mortality. The point is to increase our general appreciation for the ones we Love, our fellow brothers and sisters who are walking through life by our side. The point is to channel our energy into radiating a genuine Love that moves humanity forward.
At the surface, this sounds obvious. Sure, we have heard it over and over again, "you need to appreciate what you have!" But when you put this concept into action, it becomes much more complex. We shouldn't settle for our lives because we already have so much, we should understand that we have so much more to do because we have been given so much. We have this blessing to take advantage of each day in the name of our friends, family, significant others and humanity!
For the next seven days, tell someone close to you how much you value having them in your life. You can send them a text or you can even give them a phone call. But, to make this even more powerful, instead of telling the people the reasons that you are thankful for them that relate to what they do for you (e.g. Thank you for always being there for me), tell them reasons why you are thankful for them as a person. Say something like, "Hey buddy, I just want you to know how thankful I am for your upbeat spirit. Your Facebook posts are always uplifting, and I appreciate your insight!"
The real secret to this challenge isn't that it makes other people feel good. The secret, if you do this right, is that you begin to recognize how much you really value the people around you. You foster a sense of community, you create deeper relationships and you grow as an individual. Let's spread some Love!