We’ve all heard the phrase “Live every day like it’s your last.”
But how many of us truly apply that?
Yeah… Pretty much nobody.
It’s too easy to slip into the dull monotony of day-to-day life, coast through life on autopilot and lull ourselves to sleep inside the deceptive contentment of our comfort zones; only to wake up and find out we’ve missed the dance.
“Live every day like it’s your last” has lost its potency because so many people say it without actually embodying it. So a new phrase that I utilize is “Live like every interaction is your last.”
Serendipitously, I found myself applying that phrase during my travels. “Live like every interaction is your last” has become a perpetual piece of motivational self-talk as I maneuver through my days; and one that has made life infinitely more fulfilling as well.
Everything is an interaction, so whether it be with people, animals, places or circumstances, treat each and every interaction you have like it’s your last.
I was led to approach this “carpe diem” mentality from so many directions. Multiple paths, winding around the requiem of human reality, ended up seamlessly converging on this idea of wholeheartedly diving into each moment, because the next moment is not promised.
11 Key Components to “Living Like Every Interaction is Your Last”
1. Facing the Certainty of Death
The reality of life is that death is inevitable. Death can also come at any time. To not recognize this is ultimate denial. By being consciously aware that death is certain and tomorrow is not promised, you will cherish each moment and squeeze the last drop of divine nectar out of every sacred day you walk the Earth.
No matter what your belief system is – whether you believe in heaven, reincarnation, evolving into Mewtwo in another dimension or believe nothing exists after this life – your time within this physical body is finite. This completely unique life that you’re living right now has never happened before nor will it ever happen again. So be grateful and make the most of it!
View death, not as your enemy or something to be afraid of, but as an ally motivating you to make the most out of each fleeting moment.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean
2. Positive Programming
Condition yourself to live like every interaction is your last. Find an affirmation or mantra to repeat and help ground you into the bliss of the present moment.
During every personal interaction, I keep the mantra “Live like every interaction is your last” in the back of my head. It helps me to be more present, more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving, more grateful, more bold and more courageous.
We’re always programming ourselves whether we like it or not. Everything you tell yourself is a seed planted in the garden of your subconscious mind. Are you cultivating the kind of garden you want?
3. Letting Go of Judgment
Are you going to waste your time worrying about what other people think of you? Are you going to let the opinions of others determine what YOU DO with YOUR OWN LIFE? Are you going to throw away your own time by judging others? In the grand scheme of things, those petty judgments are ridiculously stupid, and an absolute waste of your precious time here on Earth.
I took a more in depth look at different forms of judgment in these articles:
No One Cares: Your Key to Freedom from Social Anxiety
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Judgment
4. Living Through Your Heart
Don’t let your ego run the show. Reside in your heart-space, that intuitive knowing from a deep place of peace.
Choose love as your motivating force in every situation, not fear.
And as cliche as this phrase is, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” (or “What would Buddha do?” if you prefer that as the archetype of an ascended master). The point is, what would you do if you were operating from a place of unconditional love? Do that!
5. Practicing Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a pivotal theme here.
Holding onto any negativity is like holding onto a burning coal, thinking that it’s burning the other person. You’re only hurting yourself.
Forgiveness is more about not letting negative emotions fester within you than it is about the other person.
Cultivate mindfulness regarding holding onto grudges or dwelling on negative scenarios in the past. Simply being aware of it will take the wind out of the sails of any negativity you’re holding onto.
6. Recognizing the Stupidity of Negativity
In the grand scheme of things, complaining is useless, getting angry over little things is laughable (and if you really think about it, everything is a “little thing”), clutching onto resentment is idiotic…etc.
Are you going to waste your precious time on Earth mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic yesterday? Get over it and move on.
Why lie? What’s the point? Think about how it would feel to leave behind nothing but a complex web of lives for those you supposedly care about.
Lying just complicates things anyway, while honesty (though more difficult at times) is much simpler.
Honesty also feels good, because it’s the language of the heart, and any pain felt on the receiving end of a genuinely honest statement (based in love) is pain on the ego’s behalf.
8. Embracing the Little Things
Living like every interaction is your last is not necessarily about going skydiving or throwing a party and inviting everyone you’ve ever met; it’s about cherishing the little things in life.
Savor your cup of coffee in the morning, feel the joy of taking a deep breath through your nose, go for a walk outside and cherish the moment, laugh for no reason, dance by yourself, hold the door open for a stranger and see their beaming smile, give someone a genuine compliment…etc.
Learn to love the little things and your life will be an awe-inspiring experience of perpetual vibrance.
9. Avoiding Regret
“Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
You’re the brave hero of your own movie, so act like it. And remember that (so called) mistakes make the best learning experiences. Sitting scared in your comfort zone is not living, but a slow death.
Take some risks, be unabashedly honest, talk to that hot girl or guy, write that book you have inside of you, quit your boring job and travel the world, tell your loved ones that you love them every time you say goodbye… Because you never know…
When you’re on your deathbed, are you going to look back and have regrets? Or smile and say “What a ride, baby!”?
The present moment is all that exists, and its fleeting, so cherish it.
The past and future only exist in our minds. And it’s in the mental projections into the past or future where we find our fear, worry, anxiety and all those negative emotions. Remember, there are no problems in the present moment.
The present moment is the ever-moving point of unending actualization which encases the physical dimension. It’s a ceaseless vortex of infinite love that goes wherever you go. You just have to surrender to it.
Feel, in the depths of your soul, the indescribable magic of each moment.
Meet each moment with joyful totality.
11. Your Legacy
What are you doing to make the world a better place? What are you creating? Are you living with purpose? What message are you conveying by the way you live your life?
What is your legacy?
Let the answer to that be a guiding force for the way you live your life on a moment-to-moment basis.
The Catalyst of Travel
Travel has a profound way of spurring this way of living like each moment could be your last. With all of the new (and sometimes scary) places, all of the perilous bus rides and the natural fear of flights, you become far more likely to constantly consider your own mortality.
From that perspective, a choice presents itself in every moment: “Will I make the most of this moment, or succumb to fear and complacency, letting it slip away forever?”
The choice is up to you. You have the option, in every moment, to make the most out of that fleeting moment and live like every interaction is your last.
– Stevie P!