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Tiny Wisdom: If You Knew This Would Be Your Last Day

“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” ~Leo Tolstoy

If you knew this would be your last day, would you waste time worrying about everything you might not finish on your to-do list?

Would you spend today dwelling on that minor disappointment?

Would you hold a grudge about that fight or misunderstanding?

Would you hesitate to tell the people you love just how much you care?

Would you be hard on yourself for your mistakes, imperfections, or struggles?

If you knew this would be your last day, would you make amends, or make a change, or make a point, or make a difference? Would you do something, or say something, that you’ve been waiting to do or say?

Would you look at something you always see with a new sense of appreciation?

Would you listen to people with a stronger focus, taking in every last word?

Would you say yes to what you really want and no to what you don’t?

Would you give yourself every opportunity to enjoy the people and things you love?

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and then see this day anew. Wipe the slate clean. Take the pressure off. Put a smile on. Today is a new opportunity to be who you want to be and do what you want to do.

Photo by emdot

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • I think that knowing that this would be my last day would cause me to “let go” of things. I am sure that the feeling of not carrying around so much baggage/weight would be a welcome relief.

  • Lynn

    I am close to someone who is dying and their fight to live and gain control over a situation they can not control is causing them to grip harder. It is interesting to see that even though these questions hold merit for someone at the end of their life or as a hypothetical question of “what if”  – they are still a choice to make wholeheartedly regardless of the phase of life one is in. 

  • I think about all the questions if this was my last day, I just went through a death in the family and getting ready to lose a mother figure that her welfare has been in our welfare for three years. Crazy how life turns the key.. we come into the world as a baby and leave as our mental capacity is childlike… these experiences have caused my thinking to turn around in gratitude…but the same time where is life taking me… I have to remember that it is not all about me.

  • I think about all the questions if this was my last day, I just went through a death in the family and getting ready to lose a mother figure that her welfare has been in our welfare for three years. Crazy how life turns the key.. we come into the world as a baby and leave as our mental capacity is childlike… these experiences have caused my thinking to turn around in gratitude…but the same time where is life taking me… I have to remember that it is not all about me.

  • James

    you can’t live your life on the feeling it is your last day. your plans would be for maximum of 24 hours. way start a family if it’s your last day? why start a business? this is a wrong approach to life.

  • Hi James,

    I think you bring up a valid point, and I agree. I didn’t mean to suggest acting as though you will literally die tomorrow, but rather considering what would seem important and trivial if you knew your time was limited. The reality is we never know what day will be our last. That’s not to say we should never plan for the future, but rather that it might benefit us to consider what it means to live in the moment.

    Namaste,
    Lori

  • I know what you mean Justin. I think suddenly it would become crystal clear what really matters and what doesn’t. 

  • Great point, Lynn. I wondered that after I wrote this. If it were my last day, would I devote some of my energy to wishing there were more? Sitting where I am, I can say I wouldn’t, but I can’t know for certain what would go through my head. I hope when the time comes I choose life instead of fighting death. I know that will be instinctive.

  • My condolences for the death in your family, Simone. It is interesting how everything comes full circle in life. It makes you appreciate every moment because everything changes with time.

  • David

    A Great reminder, Lori…..Life is too short for BS stuff…..live a lot!
    be good to yourself
    David

  • Always enjoy reading your wisdom…….beautiful words, beautiful thoughts. 

  • Lori- A very evocative and inspiring post. The take-away point as far as I’m concerned is: SAVOR IT! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • That’s what I intended to convey. You are most welcome!

  • Exactly David! 

  • Thank you so much. =)

  • Really great questions to teach us to let go and just be in the moment.

  • Buddy

    Hey Lori.. Just a quick note to say a big thanks for the work you all do at tiny buddah, Its great to read the thoughts of like minded people and even those that are polar opposite..  The posts you share are much respected and i personally value the perception i gain from reading them, viewing tiny buddha once a week  has become a big part of my routine in learning of about myself and the great life i have and this amazing world we all live in..

     Un-related, but was hoping that someone wouldnt mind recommending a style of meditation that would be worth learning?? By the way, loved this artical.. energizing read,,  

    HAPPY DAYS, Buddy(mark)..

  • Thanks for the note Buddy. I also appreciate reading thoughts from people who see things differently. There’s always more to learn. I’m so glad Tiny Buddha has become a part of your routine! As for meditation style, I recommend Zazen. I’m also a huge proponent of yoga. Nothing like an hour and a half of moving meditation! =)

  • This post could not have come at a better time. I am working hard at staying in the present moment. I will definitely use this as a guide.

    Thanks!

  • You’re welcome! =)

  • Chevdonaldson

    Ever since I discovered your site a few weeks ago, I visit almost every day. I had a bit of a tough time recently and reading the insightful blogs and quotes really helped me pull through and grow from this experience. This blog in particular has helped me today. A situation was making me feel worried, isolated and left out but this post has helped me realize that worrying about something that is out of my control is pointless, all I can do is keep going with the knowledge that is always light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks Lori 🙂

  • You’re most welcome. I know all about that worried, isolated feeling. I’m so glad the site has been helpful to you. =)

  • jen

    thank you for this short but wonderful message. These rhetorical questions are great. when you ask your self these questions, they really help to show you what you really think and feel

  • You’re most welcome. 🙂