When you’re told you’ve lived well past your ‘used-by’ date and at the most, all going well, with new medications and a transplant, you’ll have a 50 per cent chance of living five years or a 20 per cent chance of living 10, life priorities shift.
I was in Port Macquarie for holidays. I’d just had coffee and was looking over the headland at the beach. It was a perfect day. An older couple were doing the same, and, as you do when you’re on holidays, we started to chat.
They’d lived in Port all their lives. They’d met at school, joined the local Lions Club because they loved helping people. These guys were salt, you know, real live ‘salt of the earth’ kind of people.
When they retired they put ‘all’ their money into a property investment they were ‘promised’ would give them a 15 per cent return. That was their nest egg. Then, the market turned and now they’re stuck with an overinflated property they can’t rent or sell.
When life hands us a card we don’t want… we often focus on the card not the hand
They knew us for five minutes and this was the story they shared. This was the piece of their life that was top of mind. This one issue had become their all-consuming focus; their one topic of conversation. Their nest egg had become their burden.
He looked ashen and she said she needed to be free from the burden so they could enjoy the rest of their lives together. I felt a burning inside of me that I couldn’t ignore.
We talked about accepting what they’d lost and moving on with what they have. I don’t know how much they walked away with but he looked like he was walking taller. Who knows!
When life hands us a card we don’t want to play, we focus on the card not the hand. It’s a lesson I’m learning only too well.
There’s nothing like a life-shattering or life-shortening experience to focus your attention on what’s truly important. I was blown away when this idea was adopted by a bank in a main stream advertisement recently. With a tagline of “borrow less, live more”, they presented “real estate tips from the terminally ill”. It started with this most powerful of statements: “when you’re given a death sentence you re-evaluate what it’s all about”.
It rang true with me because after the publication of this issue, I’ll be stopping work for an indeterminable period to focus on my health. mivision, of course, will continue in more than capable hands, but, after trying to work through, I’ve realised my time priorities need to shift.
I’m not saying you should stop work and travel the world in a Combi (although that’d be pretty amazing!). But, I do think it’s important to reassess what’s important and realign your focus, before you’re forced to.
Life is not to be lived in regret. We have one life to live.
I’m going to smash it out of the park! Hope you do too.