Every Day is Back to School Day

I don’t make a habit of talking about my clients or potential clients that I meet, but today I make an exception. Today I met Anne. Anne was a lovely lady who wanted to open a Thrift shop to help support the local community.

Which is wonderful. A lady wanting to add value to the local community. But Anne’s impact to me was far beyond that.

Anne was in her 80’s. She had spent her life volunteering in Thrift Shops and had seen the gradual shift with these organisations being corporatised. Her last shop made way for commercial progress. It was bulldozed to make way for new development and higher rent yield.

I Just Feel Flat

I knew Anne had a lot on her mind as I explored why she wanted to do start her business idea. She paused, she reflected, she stammered out, “Time…..I just feel flat”.

I let her compose herself and continue. It didn’t take long to get the full message.

“Tony, Time is running out, I just feel like I have wasted my time. I just feel flat and wanting to do more.”

A lady who have given more to the community than I would imagine many others, facing the reality that her time here is limited. I was moved that Anne related this back to me, a stranger offering business advice. It was obvious something that was very real and she was contemplating the fact that she had felt she could have done more.

“I feel like I haven’t done anything with my time. I could have done more”

The impact was amazing. At one stage in our lives we will all face this realization. It may be a momentary moment of our life flashing before our eyes, or potentially decades that drag. Our time is not guaranteed nor is the way we finish. The only thing that is guaranteed is now. Our present moment.

It’s reality.

The clock is ticking and it’s real to me. It should be real to you as well. Are you marking time? Wasting time? Killing time? Time is so valuable. How are you spending it?

Because one day, we will face what Anne is facing. That it’s too late. It’s too late to chase our dreams. Too late to give back. Too late to add value. And too late to do what ever it was that we wanted to do. Too late to reunite with friends. And too late to love the one you’re with. Simply there comes a time when it will be too late.

Staring at the reality of death. Accepting that one day we will no longer be here, helps us make the most of today, the most of our time to deliver our dreams and our goals.

Facing the Moment.

Whether we are facing that moment now, or realising that moment is in the not to distant future, isn’t it time to get started, to get over the blocks, the self-limitations, the constraints you are placing on yourself. Isn’t it time to chase your greatest self, to break out of your self-imposed prison. Isn’t it time you started growing, started learning, started doing.

Because for many of us, learning stops. It may stop when we leave the educational system or it stops when we start employment. It may stop when we feel we have learnt all we need to know. And we know this doesn’t serve us well.

Learning to Live.

If you haven’t achieved what you have wanted, clocking off from life won’t  help. It doesn’t work. When did we make the choice to stop learning, to stop growing, to stop dreaming. When did we decide that our school days have finished.

Every day is a back to school day, a day to keep learning, to keep growing and to keep moving towards your greatest self.

Don’t kid yourself. If you really were honest and facing death tomorrow, would you have achieved and experienced everything you have wanted to. My guess is the answer is NO. So get going, time is valuable, because everyday is back to school day.

Afterthought:

I am reminded of a story I share.

An elderly couple are in conversation about a tertiary course the wife wants to do. “Why do you want to do the course. You’ll be 67 when it’s finished, love.” said the husband. “I’ll be 67 anyway” was the wife’s reply.

The moral? It’s never too late, until it’s too late. Get out there and live.

The frailty of life should give us the impetus to fully live and embrace it.

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