When you see this title that talks about the Leading Cause of Loss of Life, our minds naturally think of things that we associate with death; Diseases such as Heart Disease or Cancer. Maybe you think of tragic accidents such as car wrecks, earthquakes tornadoes, on and on. What I believe is the biggest cause of lives lost is fear! It may not be literally causing people to drop dead, at least directly, but what is life if we don’t live it to the fullest? I consider it to be the most tragic loss of Life.
We are all going to die of something, this we know. We go out of our way to preserve “being alive” by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and going to regular checkups at the doctor. When our bodies do get sick in any way, we do what we must to prolong life, be it medicine, treatment, surgery, etc. Why is it that we do everything to make sure we stay alive and do very little to make our lives worth living? One word-FEAR!
I have always heard that fear was an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. It is so true, most of the things that have scared us the most in our lives NEVER happened to us. Look back over your life. We’ve all faced scary moments and situations. Were they ever as bad as we had made them up to be in our minds? But I have good news, if you’re reading this, congratulations, you too have a 100% success rate for surviving even the scariest, worst days you’ve ever had and it is Not Too Late!
In the book written by Bronnie Ware, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying,” the #1 regret that people face at the end of their lives is “I wish I’d had the courage to live my life, true to myself, not the lives others expected of me.” I cannot think of anything sadder than to be facing the end of my life, at that point when it is too late, to know you could have lived the life you always wanted. To realize that you had allowed fear of what others ‘may think’ of you, that you were afraid to take a chance, afraid to make a change you knew you must. We place so much power in what others think of us and we let life pass us by. We are afraid to really live our lives true to what our heart tells us is right.
Over the past few years, I have been through the scariest period of my life and to be honest, I am not out of the woods yet. I’ve long had some irrational fears that have actually manifested and I’ve had no choice but to face them head on. I have not only survived each one but they have empowered me. Through the process of facing my fears, I can say that there is virtually nothing that scares me anymore or holds me back in life. I’m truly grateful for every fear that I have had to face and the freedom that has resulted in my conquering them.
Let’s face it, we are all going to kick the bucket. But if you are reading this, WAKE UP, it’s not too late! I can assure you, if you choose to live the life of your dreams, to follow your heart, it will scare the hell out of you at times. You may even upset some people you care about along the way. You may even lose some friends or family members by being true to yourself, but don’t you let ANYONE make you have this regret on your death bed! Our clocks are ticking and all we are ever guaranteed is this moment, right NOW!
Quit postponing your happiness. We usually trick ourselves into saying, ‘One day I will…’ Or we wait for the moment when all things are perfect to make a big life change. If you forget everything in this article, remember this: The Perfect Time NEVER COMES! I can assure you every person on their deathbed had a very good reason why they postponed their happiness, the life of their dreams. Their heart urged them to make a change, to take that scary leap of faith, but they justified why it would be ok to postpone it a little while longer. The day is coming for each of us. Don’t be ignorant and assume ‘that won’t happen to me.’ There is a reason that is one of the top regrets of those at the end of their lives.
Fear of living life to the fullest steals more lives than any disease or tragic accident. My father was killed in an automobile wreck at age 27. It is a reminder that we have no clue how long we have to live. Listen to your heart, that voice deep in you that is telling you that you deserve more, that you can have the life of your dreams. Is it going to be scary at times, um Hell Yes! But as you begin to make the changes you know you must, you will learn what scared you the most almost never happens, and if it does, it is rarely as troubling as you imagined in your mind. What scares me the most is to go to my grave knowing I could have had it all but to know it is Way Too Late to do a damn thing about it! Don’t wait any longer, start small if you must. Or continue to put it off for the perfect time, if you don’t mind missing out on the life you dream of! The Choice is yours!
Have a Happy NOW!
“Jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.” ~ Ray Bradbury