Recently a friend turned me on to the TV series Six Feet Under. I had heard about this show before but I had never actually sat down and watched it until recently.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the show it revolves around a family that runs a funeral home.
Each person in the show has their own unique character which allows the producers to explore different avenues making them seem that much more real.
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I bring it up here, on this site, when it’s dedicated to success and living a better life?”
Good question – it’s all about the part that each of us will inevitably face.
Death is something that is often avoided in our culture until it becomes a necessity. Sometimes I think many of us believe that it just won’t happen to us. It can’t.
In Six Feet Under each episode begins with a life being taken.
Each time in a very different manner. Some are peaceful, some are bizarre, some are unfortunate, and some are simply unbelievable and yet, believable.
Despite our best efforts there are times when death comes when we least expect it.
Back in college I clearly remember reading a letter my mother had sent me (before we had email) to inform me that a girl I knew in high school, one year my junior, had lost her life tragically in a bizarre accident.
Nineteen and her life was over. Over before it even started.
I sat there in shock.
I just couldn’t believe she was gone.
But that is life, or should I say death.
It’s the one thing that none of us can avoid.
So what does this have to do with success?
Everything. Each of us has a clock that will one day chime no longer so we can’t get caught up in forgetting just how special the little things are.
Today was an otherwise forgettable day, and one I am likely to forget a week from now, but I decided to look back over all that I did today what made me smile. This is my today-list.
- I laughed when my son told me he “wa-chad a mosquito.” (“wa-cha” is what we say when we strike something forcefully, like a karate blow)
- I enjoyed a lovely dinner with my family.
- I remember the look on my son’s face when he laughed at me doing something stupid.
- I was asked a great question by a client that really made me think.
- I had a great discussion with another client about what makes a great teacher.
- I enjoyed going back to bed lying on the floor next to my sound asleep son.
- I watched my son sleep so peacefully with not a care in the world.
Most of our lives are filled with the seemingly insignificant; spending time with our family, eating dinner, watching movies, work, going out drinking. But they’re all part of the big picture. They help us appreciate the big events.
They are the glue that fills in the gaps.
I, for one, am grateful for the quiet times. I also appreciate it when the pressure is on. Both stimulate different parts of my mind and keep me sharp.
One pushes me to new heights, the other allows me contemplate ideas.
My father retired at the age of 57 and took to retirement like a fish out of water.
That’s not for me. I want to give all that I have to give. For as long as I can give it.
I once heard someone say that life at its longest is short. How very true.
If there’s one lesson I learned from Six Feet Under it would have to be to appreciate what we have right now; technology, medicine, our friends, our health, the love of our family and two incredible gifts – the gift of time and the gift of freedom.
I don’t know about you but I intend to make the most of out of what I’ve been given.
I hope you will as well.