It’s Your Path, It’s Your Dream

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time.  Not completely focusing all of my energies on it, but as one gets older and you see the world around you, I think it’s normal to contemplate your mortality from time to time.  It’s a complex thought process and it can really numb your mind.

The past few months we’ve been surprised by some of the famous people who have passed away.  You hear about someone not coming down for breakfast and the next thing you know everyone is amazed because that person wasn’t in anybody’s death pool.  Death pools appear to be becoming more and more challenging to be successful at these days.  You can probably now do well at it by using a random strategy instead of the old way of crossing age with known health issues.  The death pool is evolving into something that more closely mimics life itself, if that makes any sense.

My oldest brother passed away last July after a very short battle with pancreatic cancer.  It took our entire family by surprise.  I lost my favorite brother and I learned a lot about the process of “processing” a death from several sides – emotionally, spiritually, physically, legally, and from other angles I don’t want to get into.  The effect of his death on me makes me think about him every day.  Each day I look at his picture on the shelf in my game room and say hello to him, and tell him how much I miss him and miss talking to him.  To me, my brother was larger than life.  When I put that into perspective, the actual thing that we call “life” or “living” is quite small and insignificant compared to the legacy we leave behind and the lasting affects each life has the potential of.

Heavy stuff, I know.

Every now and then I visit my Facebook page to see what my friends have been up to.  I’m 48 years old now, and while catching up with friends there are more and more postings about people I went to high school with who have passed away.  I was stunned just this past week of the passing of an old friend of mine who suffered a heart attack.  Again, I’m back to processing that mortality thing.  Then just two days later a co-worker of mine gave birth to a beautiful little girl.  One family filled with happiness and another grieving a loss.  This is life, this is how it’s supposed to work.

What it all comes down to is the value of now.  Being a programmer I can tell you that “now” is so important, every programming language has a “now” function.  The strange thing is, I’ve known a lot of programmers throughout my career who don’t know the real value of now, for one reason or another.  Some do, and those of us appear to be the exception rather than the norm, and I think that is a microcosm of the human population in general.  Quite possibly because it’s in our nature to take things for granted.

Some of us need a jump start every now and then to remind us of how precious life is and how taking things for granted isn’t a good thing.  For me, it was a car accident in 1998 that should have ended my life.  No, it didn’t provide me with any sort of religious experience.  When I was out cold I didn’t see a bright light or see someone trying to lead me somewhere.  But months later when my head finally stopped spinning, I knew all those things I thought were so important weren’t really so important.  All of the work related stress, the stress of building a career and people who stood in my way no longer mattered.  What mattered was I was given another day to try to make my dreams come true.

And that is what now is about – seizing the moment to get one step closer to realizing your own dreams.  Our dreams make each one of us unique.  Everyone should have dreams, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.  Each dream requires a well-defined path to reaching it, and life is that path.  As you walk that path you build your legacy step by step.  You might not ever reach and touch the dream, but the effort in trying is what should excite you while you reach for it.  If you live your life striving for your dreams, when that life ends you have no regrets.  Your life was worth living, and the people left behind are better for knowing you.

As you venture out into your world today, remember your now and your dreams.  Remember that if something in your life seems crazy to you, it’s ok – it’s your life and you’ve got to have the guts to live it.  Don’t be afraid, let it come to you.  Appreciate your path, and make today your own Thanksgiving.

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  1. ONE Thing: Whats the Most Important Thing in Your Life? « For Whatever It's Worth…

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