Within every person lie moments of significance, experiences that shape us, change our perspective, carve our character and drive us to a deeper part of ourselves.
A few years ago I had one of those moments. It took the form of a terrible shock – the sudden death of someone I loved deeply, his last breath in front of my very eyes. I would be lying if I said, as I reflect on that moment, that my heart doesn’t hurt, that my own breath doesn’t stop for a moment. But just as I choose to ride rollercoasters, with the gut wrenching squeals that come with them, if I’m honest, I choose to reflect on that moment. Not to experience its sadness, but rather to encapsulate a sense of purpose, of urgency, of peace, of joy, of life itself.
The fact of the matter is a) I can’t change what happened b) it could happen to anyone of us at any moment c) our own time on this planet, whether we choose to admit it or not, is finite.
So I find it focuses my mind to what really matters in life, knowing all too well that this could be my last moment. As strange as it may sound, I choose to see it as a gift.
I have held back from sharing this openly with people, in a way fearing putting myself so much on the line, fear of being judged, fear of being labeled as morose. But those who know me can attest that I have a love of life and a love of humanity. And it is because of that love that I am doing this, because maybe the lessons I learned through my experience could in some way make a small difference to someone, and that in a strange way will make the experience worthwhile.
If you love someone, tell them. If you need something, ask. If you’re stuck, own up. Don’t be afraid to share your dreams, your wishes, your aspirations. Don’t worry about airing your fears, they don’t seem so bad when they’re brought out from the dark recesses of our minds. Be fearless in challenging perspectives (especially yours). Be honest. Be truthful. Be honourable.
Put down your phone, your iPad, your laptop. Ignore your emails, messages and put your phone on silent or off. Get the person you care about most in the world and look into their eyes, hold them, feel their breath, take time to listen – to the words and the silence in between, the magical doorways that lead you to their essence.
If you’re at dinner, be at dinner. If you’re having a conversation, be in the conversation. If you’re sharing a moment with someone (even yourself) be in that moment. Absorb everything every moment offers you. Just as you would savour every morsel of a gourmet meal, so it should be with moments.
Have the courage to love deeply
The only thing that hurts more than loving someone is not having the courage to love at all. Love with all your heart, with abandon, with fullness, with gusto, with no holds barred.
You can’t have a rainbow without some rain
Don’t be afraid of shedding a tear and definitely don’t bottle it up. See tears as a way to transform what may seem as a sad or painful experience. With light shed on it and the right perspective even that moment can bring beauty and joy into your life.
Be thankful for every moment – to have an extraordinary life one must take pleasure in what may seem extra-ordinary.
Tend to what matters
It is easy to get distracted, to listen to the drum of others. Take some time to figure out what truly matters to you and make sure your daily actions reflect that.
Just do it!
Don’t wait till tomorrow, till next week, till you have more time, till you have more money, till whatever excuse or reason blocks your way – today, right now, this moment. Tick tock, tick tock. You have but one life – live it!
Headhunter turned talent spotter, Deborah is vested in the impact business has in both economic and social terms across various strata of society. She is the Creator of AMANI™ and a catalyst for business being a force for good,
Did this resonate and you’d like to know more? Please get in touch for your confidential one-to-one.
inSight - Salty not Sweet
A board member of a multinational company operating in emerging markets needed to address a situation. They discovered an individual who had access to the company float was taking money out of the company but replacing it before the new accounting cycle. With strong...
As part of a team transformation process, we worked with a number of people of various backgrounds and ages. This case is about a millennial. Perceived as difficult to manage, interactions were causing friction and frustration. We set about to see if we could fix it....
A budding entrepreneur wanted to create an investment company focused on Africa with a triple-bottom line. We helped him define and shape the vision, as well as the values and behaviours he wanted to stand for and demonstrate. Wanting to ensure he could translate his...
A global financial institution was in trouble. Bankrupty was inevitable. Wanting to get ahead of it, a member of the regional team approached us to explore options. We profiled every team member, identifying their skills, aspirations and team fit We explored...
A new venture had three founding partners all sharing the same vision. However, in trying to deliver on that vision, it became rapidly apparent they had different views on how that vision should be executed. We had to figure out if and how they could best work as a...
A family business with a franchise partner had a challenge – they had to replace the Managing Director with immediate effect. Failure to do so could result in them losing their business relationship with the franchise partner, which would have a big impact on their...
Growth is great. But growth can also be challenging. A start-up was acquired by a private equity firm. The people involved from the inception of the company were still with the organisation and were experiencing a change in culture, direction and method of working....