IF TODAY WERE MY LAST DAY
Written by: Kiro Shahata
If today were my last day, I’d want you to know that you are not alone.
You’re not just 1 in 7 billion people populating this earth.
You have a reason.
You have a drive.
You have a purpose.
In a world surrounded by so many, I’d want you to know that your magnificent soul shines brightest through your character. I’d want you to know that you are perfect, just the way you are. Not because you don’t have flaws, but because you embrace them. You leave marks, not scars. The presence that you share is felt just as strong as the presents that you give.
If today were my last day, I’d tell you not to lose hope. Despite what the news tells us, this world is still a loving place, humans are still compassionate, and we as humans still care wholeheartedly. And if I could have but one request, I implore you to push yourself to be all that you can be. Become your highest self. Don’t be afraid to discover your purpose, and allow yourself to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. Albert Einstein once said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” To me, nothing has proven to be more true. Life is absolutely like riding a bicycle. It’s scary at first, tricky at best, but so rewarding once you get the hang of it. The key, as Einstein mentioned, is to keep moving. At the end of the day, the world won’t stop because you do. It’s up to you to make sure you keep moving with it. That’s how you keep afloat.
The good thing is that over the past few years, floating has become my forte. Through trial, tribulation, and necessity, I grew resilient like a weed, thriving where others failed, and floating where I most definitely should have sunk. It’s for that reason that I’m here with you. I want to share with you all that was shared with me, in order for you to enjoy the ride that we call life. And so, without further ado, I give you my top five pieces of advice to help you keep moving forward.
Play your hand. The fact is, life is random. You cannot choose the country you were born in, the family you were born into, or the situation you were born with. Your cards were loaded from the start with a destiny of a hand that we’ll never fully understand, nor are we really able to change. Rather than cursing that which you were given, work with what you’ve got. As the first Indian Prime Minister and disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru always said: “The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Choose to play your cards. Sweep the house.
Embrace the struggle. Whether it’s between you and yourself, those around you, the elements, the circumstances, or anything in between. So long as there is discrepancy, there will always be struggle. The key here is not to get down between what is and what could be. Whether it’s between who you are and who you want to be, where you are and where you want to be, or who you’re with and who you’d rather be. There will always be a bit of a gap, but so long as you’re constantly striving for the latter of them all, that place where you’d like to be, well, then you’re on your way to getting there.
Find the right people. You will encounter all types of people. That’s just a fact. There will be those who give off a positive energy, who lift you, encourage you, support you, and motivate you. These are the ones whose hearts are filled with joy, and souls filled with love. Find those people. As much as I’d love to say that all are like these, the truth of the matter is they are not. There are some brewed with hatred, jealousy and envy. They bring bad energy into your life, bringing sabotage to your success. Avoid those people. If for whatever reason you cannot, forgive them ‘for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). Ignore their provocations and keep moving forward. That is the only way to beat them. “The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” The beauty of it is that the right people will come into your life and stay. The wrong ones will teach you a lesson and leave. Be grateful for those people; they have taught you something you need to grow spiritually, physically and/or emotionally. At the end of the day, just remember that the goal is not to be better than anyone else, but simply better than who you were yesterday.
The secret to living is giving. The more you give, the more you get. That is one of the laws of the universe. Do not be afraid to give, even if you do not have much to give, you will be rewarded for all you do. Every bit helps. Give for the sake of giving. So many people these days give when the moment strikes, when the cameras are on, and when their generosity will be noticed. But true generosity doesn’t come from boasting; rather, it’s what you give when no one sees that matters the most. That will make the most impact, and that, in turn, will make you the happiest. This is brilliantly illustrated by a Chinese proverb: “If you want happiness for an hour take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” True generosity makes you happier, healthier, and increases your ultimate life satisfaction. Give for others. It’s as much as a gift for you as it is for them.
Forgive. Nearly everyone has been hurt by someone else. It’s inevitable. As long as we keep interacting with each other, there will always be room for hurt. There are wounds that can leave you with permanent feelings of anger, resentment or even vengeance. Do not be blinded by resentment and anger. No matter how much you want to, do not seek revenge; it only proliferates the pain. Trust me, the only real way to get over anything is forgiveness. It does not mean that you forget the harm caused, but it means that you’re bigger than it, you are more than it, and you are stronger than it. The first to apologize is never the weakest, but the bravest. The first to forgive is the happiest. Step up, be the bigger person, and watch yourself rise the moment you let go of the negativity.
Nowadays most people tend to neglect these vital components in our lives, and by doing so, they neglect their purpose. They forget that they were created for great things, and those great things begin with great people. So go on, step out into the world - forgive, play, love, give, and embrace your potential for greatness!
Because if today were my last day, I’d want you to know that the world needs more great people, and you, my friend, are just what this world needs.
Kiro Shahata | @Kiroshahataspeaks