Gandhi perhaps said it best, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” But I have to say Tim McGraw’s “Live like you were dying” makes for a close second. No matter how you say it, the concept is truly transformative. The best way to live life is to act as if today was your last day. Think about it. If these were your last minutes on earth, how would you change the way you live? Holly Butcher, a young woman from Australia, had a few changes in mind during her final year of life and decided to share them on Facebook.
Holly Butcher was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at 26 years old. The news was extremely unexpected for herself and her family. Although the circumstances were grim, and Holly eventually lost her life after a year of fighting the disease, she gained an enlightening new perspective.
Holly wrote her thoughts on the best way to live life in a letter to her family and asked that they share it on Facebook. They posted the message on January 3rd, one day before Holly died. Since her passing, the message has gone viral and resonated with millions around the world.
A Message On The Best Way To Live Life
Holly begins by explaining that everyone just expects life to keep on going until the unexpected happens. “That’s the thing about life,” she says. “It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.” Holly proceeds to share a series of heartfelt advice, most of which she said came to her in the quite, late night hours.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Holly writes, “I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the (bs).”
She talks about all the trivial things that people spend their time worrying about. Bad haircuts, sleepless nights, chipped nails, a wobbling belly. “Let all that sh*t go,” she says. “I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole.”
Holly emphasizes the importance of focusing on the little positives of life. “Get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.”
Focus on Experiences, Not Things
Holly talks about how weird it felt to spend money during her final days. “It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.”
Holly urges people to focus less on the material world, and more on the experiences you can have in the world. “Use your money on experiences,” she says. “Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material sh*t.”
Donate Blood and Save Lives
Holly’s last bit of advice on the best way to live life is to make an effort to save a life by donating blood. In her own words, “Do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.”
For Holly, blood donation became something very personal. “Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends, and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.”
The Best Way To Live Life Is To Love
As the end of life draws nearer, most people aren’t thinking about the stuff they bought, the arguments they won, or the things they wore. They think about the people they love. Holly says, “Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.” It doesn’t matter if you have years, months, or just days to live. If you don’t spend your life loving those around you, what do you have to live for?
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