Don’t Wait for a Life-Changing Moment to Change Your Life

Last night, I was watching The Amazing Race Canada with my wife Laura and son Connor. When the racers arrived in Nelson, British Columbia, one contestant revealed that this was an emotional stop for him because two of his friends had died in a skiing accident in this mountain town.

“I knew from that moment I had to embrace every moment life throws at us,” contestant Ryan LaChapelle said. He made a decision to “give life everything he had, which is why his team is known as GIVE’R.

There are countless examples of this phenomenon. Tragedies like deaths of friends, diagnoses of serious diseases or near-death experiences can wake us up from the grind of daily life.

For me, it was my kidney disease and the second chance at life I got when my sister donated a kidney to me. That was a defining moment and it motivated me to change my life. It’s what led me to start My Instruction Manual and this journey towards being happy, healthy, connected, organized and inspired.

The challenge for those of us who have been through these truly life-changing moments is to maintain this new perspective. There are times when I slip back into old ways of thinking and I know I’m taking this new life for granted. I need to stop and remind myself of how grateful I am to be where I am today.

But not everyone is unlucky (lucky?) enough to have a life-changing experience. Your challenge is to start making positive changes in your life today. So often we tell ourselves we’ll start living life right when this happens or when that happens. Maybe you’re waiting for the summer to be over and the new school year to start. Maybe you’re waiting until you turn 30. Maybe you’re waiting until you get that big project completed at work. Maybe you’re waiting for your kids to move away to university. Maybe you’re waiting until you retire.

But there’s rarely a perfect moment to change our lives. Positive change doesn’t happen overnight. We change our lives in a million tiny steps.

So GIVE’R today.

Don’t wait for a life-changing moment to change your life.

18 comments

  1. It’s funny how so many of us need to feel the impending reality that we may be in our last moments before we can recognize the value of all of them. Beautiful post!

  2. Very true Keith. It’s amazing how easy it is though to live in the comfort zone and only express desire for change when a significant incident makes us open our eyes!

  3. Life-changing experiences are lucky–though I wish they weren’t so hard.

    For one reason or another, we humans think we’re going to live forever. We know it’s not true–and yet we don’t fully understand that our time is short. These experiences, though often tragic, help create a focus point for many of us, a concrete example that we are not immortal and we better get to the business of living.

    I grew up with very little adversity. When life served up a poop-sandwich in my late-thirties I knew I had a choice–decide to embrace the messy and the weird, the uncontrollable and the crazy–or stick my head in the sand and wait for life to pass me by. I decided, as you can probably guess, to live. Not everyone needs tragedy to wake them up, but many of us do. Adversity is the bringer of truths and the builder of character. Tragedy is his meaner, older brother. Both, when used as an opportunity for change, can be the window into a life well-lived.

    Thanks for opening the conversation!

      • I like how you put that! It sounds morbid, but death can be a friend, if we use it to remind us to live.

  4. Very touching post Keith. So often people realize things often too late. We should really make more effort to appreciate each moment before it’s too late and live in regret.

  5. Well said and so true. I was using every possible excuse I could to avoid the hard work involved in changing careers. Once I realized that and began to speak the truth out loud it was much easier to move on. Thanks for this post.

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