So, it’s the second day of me reading Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson and, even though I can practically breeze through this book since the chapters are so short and since it is very easy to read, I’d rather not. I’d rather take it slow and devour what the book is telling me. Just this morning, I’ve finished reading up to the sixth chapter of the book.
That particular chapter’s title is the same title as this post: Remind Yourself that When You Die, Your “In Basket” Won’t Be Empty. Like yesterday, I want to share that chapter with you guys since it’s something that we have to be reminded of. So, allow me to quote that chapter from the aforementioned book:
So many of us live our lives as if the secret purpose is to somehow get everything done. We stay up late, get up early, avoid having fun, and keep our loved ones waiting. Sadly, I’ve seen so many people who put off their loved ones so long that the loved ones lose interest in maintaining the relationship. I used to do this myself. Often, we convince ourselves that our obsession with our “to do” list is only temporary–that once we get through the list, we’ll be calm, relaxed, and happy. But in reality, this rarely happens. As items are checked off, new ones simply replace them.
The nature of your “in basket” is that it’s meant to have items to be completed in it–it’s not meant to be empty. There will always be phone calls that need to be made, projects to complete, and work to be done. In fact, it can be argued that a full “in basket” is essential for success. It means your time is in demand!
Regardless of who you are or what you do, however, remember that nothing is more important than your own sense of happiness and inner peace and that of your loved ones. If you’re obsessed with getting everything done, you’ll never have a sense of well-being! In reality, almost everything can wait. Very little in our work lives truly falls into the “emergency” category. If you stay focused on your work, it will all get done in due time.
I find that if I remind myself (frequently) that the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier for me to stay control of my obsession with completing my list of things to do. Remember, when you die, there will still be unfinished business to take care of. And you know what? Someone else will do it for you! Don’t waste any more precious moments of your life regretting the inevitable.
I have to say that what peaked my interest to share this chapter are the lines: Regardless of who you are or what you do, however, remember that nothing is more important than your own sense of happiness and inner peace and that of your loved ones and …the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love…
There are some people who think that work is the only important thing in their lives and in other people’s lives. They fail to see that there is something beyond that. I greatly respect and admire people who value their family. Who have time to spend with their kids or their parents and who would readily help a loved one–no matter the time and/or distance–when they are in need. The sense of family is strong with us Filipinos and it is something that I am proud of.
The second line that I have mentioned above is also something that everyone needs to be reminded of. Life should be lived! We weren’t meant to simply exist! If we constantly think only about getting through the day, we miss out on the beauty of life. If we constantly see the bad things in life and in people, we get to miss the things that actually do matter! We only get to live once and the time we have used, we can never get that back.
A week ago, Lauren Alaina released her debut album, which topped the Country album charts, overtaking Scotty McCreery. In her album–which, by the way, I really, really love–there is a track called ‘The Middle‘. It’s a beautiful song and one of my favorites in the album along with The Locket, Dirt Road Prayer, Georgia Peaches, The Funny Thing About Love, and Eighteen Inches.
Why did I mention her album and that song? Well, because there is a line in that song: Take each day and make it last, cause you turn around and the future is the past. Here and now is all we have. The beginning and the end mean so little. What matters most is what’s in the middle.
Those are such beautiful, beautiful lyrics. With how fast-paced life is right now, we have to be reminded that life shouldn’t just pass us by. We should live and enjoy it. For those who haven’t heard that song from Lauren Alaina, here’s a bonus for this post. Enjoy the song:
The Middle – Lauren Alaina