A Thought About My Tombstone Inspired Me

Yesterday I went running in Brooklyn. I am committed to working out at least 3 days a week and it hasn’t been the easiest. I started this new app called Couch to 5K. I will keep you all posted on how it goes. I would like to be at 5K by the end of the summer. So, anyway I found myself near this beautiful graveyard and decided to run around the perimeter on the sidewalk. (No, I was not running in the graveyard). When I first approached it, I let out this cry. I can’t explain it, but right then and there I saw my own tombstone. It hit me so hard. Looking at tombstone after tombstone I realized that one day I would too have one. That thought made me think of how I’m living my life. Am I doing enough? Am I taking enough risks? Am I being too safe? Am I really making a difference?

Yes, I’m living my passion but I could be taking more daily risks, I could be loving harder, I could be doing more! My run got more intense I started to think about my tombstone and the limited amount of time I have on this earth.

The truth is that we all have a finite amount of time. Someone recently told me that we’re giving 25,550 mornings if we live to be 70. Well, I’m 38 years old now so that’s actually (70-38) x (365)=11,680 more mornings. My goal is to retire at 50 which is only 12 years from now. That actually gives me 4,380 more mornings to grind. Wow! That’s NOT a lot. When you look at your life that way, how do want to spend your mornings? How do you want to spend each day? It really makes you think. I want to give more and love more. I want to inspire more people and make a difference. I want to really go for it because with less than 12K mornings I don’t have much time to waste.

This all made me think of Steve Jobs (Former CEO and Founder of Apple) speech at Stamford University.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure you — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

How many mornings do you have left to make it happen? Take (70 – your age) x 365. If you know when you want to retire recalculate the amount of time you have to grind. How many mornings is that? Please comment with your number of mornings. I want to hear from you.