A life well lived
In a recent post in Psychology Today, author Emma Seppälä Ph.D. writes, “You already know what you will know on your deathbed—that a life well-lived is a life in which you have shared an abundance of love, and that the greatest aspiration to have is to be a wonderful person for someone else.”
WOW, I couldn’t have said it better myself, and knew I wanted to expand on that sentiment. What a profound, “mic drop,” kind of comment. Consider that, on your deathbed you will be looking back over your life and wondering if it was a life well lived. I cannot imagine looking back with regrets for the things I could have, should have, or should not have done.
In her article, “The Key to Becoming the Most Wonderful Version of Yourself,” Emma discusses the value of success, and suggests it isn’t in the things. This is a comment I have made often. Success means different things to different people. Many people measure their level of success by their peers, or by the standards society has decided success looks like. As a Christian Life Coach, I know that I am to love my neighbor as myself, not try to attain their perceived level of success, or climb over them to get to the top first.
If you find a wallet, will you turn it in… before or after taking the money out?
If you hit a baseball and break someone’s window, will you fess up… or run as fast as you can?
If you see someone being beat up, will you try to help them… or stand there and video tape it?
If a cashier gives you too much change back (when we were dealing in cash), will you say something… or keep it?
Are you encouraging others and building them up… or concentrating on their faults, and tearing them down?
When you are having coffee with friends, are you looking them in the eye and giving them your full attention… or are you on your phone?
Society tells us, “If it feels good do it” no matter the consequences and lives destroyed in the aftermath. “Look out for number one,” “The one with the most toys wins,” and even the Bible says, “an eye for an eye.” However, that was in the Old Testament. In the new age, the New Testament, Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek,” and forgive someone seven times seventy times.”
In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, I know people are raised differently and have different values, but, in my opinion, success and a life well lived is determined by the way you treat others and are treated in return. Do people value your opinion? Do they trust you? Do they seek you out when they need help? Not that success is about being well liked. It’s about loving others well. It definitely isn’t about having the biggest house or the nicest car. Success is about how many people you invite into your house and travel with you in your car.
On my deathbed, I want to look back at my life and know that I was successful in helping others move positively forward.