How Many Moments Do You Have Left?
During my last vacation in Florida with my father, I decided to ask the question, “how many moments do we have left? His answer, what do you mean”?
Well, how many times do we see each other a year? Answer: 3
Did you know the average lifespan for North American men is 78 years, no? How old are you? Answer: 66
Ok, so let do a simple calculation then: 3 x 12 = 36
Now let’s put things into perspective. If you live to be 78 and we continue to see each other three times a year, we have exactly 36 more times to share moments, not 12 years!
This changes everything. It helps evaluate and question how you spend time with people. It has the potential to breathe new life into relationships and holds the key to shifting surface discussions to deeply profound ones, giving both of you the opportunity to know one another in different ways.
Let me ask you a question:
Do you really know the people closest to you or do you think you know them?
Do you know what they’re about, what they like, where they are in their life and where they want to be? Are you curious about how they’ve evolved or do you still see them for what they were?
You know this, you’ve probably even experienced it this week. It’s Christmas or your birthday; you open a gift someone spent far too much time, money and effort trying to find but it’s something you used to like a long time ago or something they think you’ll love (you don’t, you may even hate it) because they do.
You’re at dinner with family or friends where someone spent hours preparing a meal just for you because you love it and it’s your favorite. It’s full of yummy gooey cheese but your lactose intolerant, or it’s a perfectly cooked steak, and you’ve become vegetarian.
In both cases, our reactions are the same, “Oh… It’s perfect! It’s delicious! Thank you so much” because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or seem ungrateful. So we give or throw away the gift and deal with the stomach pain and bite the bullet this one last time.
The issue is that our parents still see us as children regardless of our age, our friends see us how we used to be or how they’d like us to be, and our bosses see us how we were when we first started just like we do with them. We all have labels that are stuck in the past even if we’ve evolved.
Why go on passing through precious moments with our loved ones and closest friends living in the past, not fully knowing who they are, what they like, and what they want to experience in life?
Once you’ve determined how many moments you have left with someone ask the following questions:
- Do you know who I am?
- Do I know who you are?
- Or do we simply know who we WERE?
- Do you want to know?
These questions hit me like a tone of bricks. I realized that if I don’t change and we don’t take action now, I might very well end up standing at the bedside of the man who gave me the gift of life during his final moments and watch him slip away having never known who he really was and he never knowing who I am…
I’ve seen first hand how this can be devastating. I watched someone close to me lose a parent and completely fall apart destroying themselves and everyone around them.
Once it’s too late, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t go back in time and change how you spent your time, what you talked about or how much you shared, and no amount of wishing will make it so.
My invitation to you is to take a long look at your close relationships and ask yourself:
Do we really know each other or do we think we do and if the answer is no, how many moments do you have left to change that?
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