A very dear friend of mine (Jim) unexpectedly lost his 67-year-old brother (Mark) to heart failure a few weeks ago. I was fortunate to have known Mark and to have the pleasure of spending a week with him and others playing golf in Scotland last May.
On the first day of the trip as we were driving to our next destination, I was sitting next to Mark and we were talking about our families and life in general. He asked me if I ever heard the line from the movieThe Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying!” I told him I remembered the movie but not the line. He shared with me the context of the line.
The two prisoners, Andy and Red, were talking to each other about their terrible circumstances in prison. Andy says to Red, “when I get out of here, I want to go to Mexico and live the rest of my life near the ocean.” Red tells him to stop thinking that way because it does no one any good. Red continues, “Mexico is way the heck down there, and we are stuck in here. And that is the way it is….”
Andy then tells Red, “I guess it comes down to a simple
choice then…. get busy living or get busy dying.”
Mark loved that line. In fact, Mark lived his life that way. Mark was a wonderful and caring husband, father, grandfather and had such passion for golf, world travel and his work. Job opportunities and new challenges took Mark and his family to many destinations in the US. Mark lived his life fully, with passion and gusto. His energy, passion and infectious smile will be dearly missed.
Mark got busy living his life some time ago and did so right up to his last breath on earth. His death caused me to reflect on my own life. What about you? Are you busy living or busy dying? As you ponder that question think about the dreams you want fulfilled and what you want to do but have not done so because of time or due to fear or anxiety which paralyzes you from taking a step forward.
We don’t know when the good Lord will call us home. So, live with no regrets or “I should haves.” Act and take a step forward to:
- Reconciling with a family member or friend.
- Re-connecting with others who have had a significantly positive impact on your life. It could be a coach, teacher, family member or friend. Tell them how much they helped you.
- Forgiving those who have wronged you.
- Getting out of a dead-end job or working in a toxic environment.
- Travelling to the parts of this incredible earth that give you joy and passion.
- Taking up a hobby or trying something you have always wanted to do.
- Going back to school.
- Relaxing and not feeling guilty.
- Dance and sing out loud as if no one is watching.
- Finally letting go of those things that hold you back.
Don’t wait, make a commitment right now and take that step or action to live your life fully.