51 Breaths

The average person breaths approximately 17 times a minute and can live for around 3 minutes without breathing. At any point in time, we’re only around 51 breaths from ceasing to be. Fifty one. That’s around the time it will take you to read this article. Sobering thought, really. No one really wants to think about death, but the truth is, we’re all heading that way, but in the words of William Wallace (in Braveheart, probably not in real life):

“Every man dies, not every man really lives.”

So let’s not look at this as a post about dying, but rather, a post about looking back on a life we’ve truly lived. Take a moment and think about what would happen if you were on breath 4 – you’ve got 47 left. What are the things you think about?

Where did I always want to go, but never did?

Who did I never make up with?

What do I wish I would have apologized for, but was too prideful or stupid not to?

What was the project I never completed because you just couldn’t find the time?


What’s next?

Eternity – what does it look like?

Who will meet me there?

Where will I spend it?


What will happen to those I leave behind?

Are my wife and family provided for?

Will my kids be OK without me?

Will my wife remarry? I hope it’s someone who treats her well…


What will be my eulogy?

How will I be remembered?

You see where this is going, right? It’s in the moments like this, where our life flashes before our lives, that the important things become the now things. The things we have been putting off are suddenly the things we should have been doing and wish we had spent the most time on.

It’s only when we have nothing left to worry about that the things we should have been worrying about become the priority.

Most of us are blessed enough to have another tomorrow. And another day after that. And one after that. And maybe even many more years to come. But one day we will be on the 51 breath countdown. Will you look back and feel confident your questions are answered?

Here are the three takeaways for today:

1 – What can you do in the next three minutes to change your life? Even if you use the time to make a commitment to do something, you’ve taken a first step.

2 – What are the things you are worried about today? The things that keep you awake at night. How important will they be a decade from now? A year? A week?

3 – What are the things you should be worrying about, and how can you turn that worry into a plan, and the plan into action?

Time’s up, you’ve used your 51 breaths, but now you’ve got 51 more. What will you do with them, and how can you make the most of them so when you face your final 51 countdown you are heading for the victory lap, and not wondering what could have been, and what will be in 4 minutes time?

#life #death #goals #peace #psychspot

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