I recently read this story and felt compelled to share it with you. It's yet another reason to have a goal...a focus...a dream for your life, because you never know which day will be your last.
One week ago, I saw Amy, an old girlfriend, at the store. Twenty some years ago, I fixed her up with my best friend, Crazy Harry. They were married and had two great kids. Harry was the best man at my wedding. I have known him since I was 13 and until I was married we spent a lot of time together. Harry and I are very different, but we were the best of friends. We had similar interests and were both driven. (Both of us were workaholics, however.) My wife has never cared for Harry and has over time created a situation that Harry and I have not seen each other for about the last 5 or 6 years even though we only live 5 miles apart. That is very sad and not something I am proud of.
While talking with Amy I asked her how Harry was doing. Her face went gray and I knew something was wrong. She said that Harry died two years ago from pancreatic cancer. Needless to say, I had no idea and felt like a complete idiot. She was very strong and I fought hard to keep back my tears. I was devastated! She was not sure where I was and didn't know how to get hold of me. She said that the last year of Harry's life was one of the best they had spent together as a family. Harry could not work, so he slept 18 to 20 hours a day. When he was awake he was 100% there, spending quality time with his family. In that last year, Amy said he actually got to know his kids for the first time.
Needless to say, I learned a lot that day. Here are some of my thoughts that hit me that hopefully you may apply to your lives:
* Life is too short. Live it to the fullest each day. Don't worry about the petty stuff (and most of the things we worry about are petty).
* Value what you have. Harry and Amy were a great couple with two great kids. He spent most of his time accumulating wealth, getting ahead and less time on the things that are most important. family and friends.
* Don't ever give up your friends. You may not ever see them again.
* You can not spend too much time with your kids.
* A spouse who is a sole mate and friend can be the most important decision of your life. Choose the right one! Value and respect that person with all of your heart.
* Take care of your health. You never know when your body will tell you it has had enough.
* Time is our most valuable asset. How we spend it is up to us. It is more valuable than all of the money in the world. We can not control time; it is the one thing that everyone has the same of. It is how we spend time that makes all the difference in your life.
* We called him "Crazy Harry" because he always wanted to try new things, have fun and "Just do it". Other than not spending as much time as he may have wanted with his family and friends, Harry led a very full life. He touched a lot of people and everyone was drawn to him. We all need to be a little crazy and just do things. Don't put yourself in the position to say "I wish I would have done things differently." Decide what you want to do and do it!
* If you don't have a plan it doesn't matter how you get there! Sit down and figure out what is important and decide what you need to do to get there. Every time I have taken time to have a goal, plan how to get there, I have accomplished things that would surprise many people.
* Live by the Golden Rule.
* Live in the moment. What's important is what you're doing now. The past is gone and the future isn't here yet.
* Have fun.
This story is from Mark Stephens, Chief Financial Officer of The Legacy Bank, in PA.
Who among your family or friends have you lost touch with, but would love to reconnect with?
One of my wife's dear college friends, Anna, recently referred her sister to me and I helped her find a new home. Then Anna and her family drove in from New York City to see her sister and we all spent the day by the pool re-connecting after almost 20 years. Everyone got along great and now we're going to visit them in NYC this summer. I've never been to NYC. My wife, Amy, also re-connected with one of her other dear college friends, Catherine, at a local restaurant for coffee and they instantly clicked.
I'd love to hear your story! Have a great week! The real estate market is picking up, so increase your activities to get a piece of the pie.
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