THE BLOG
02/20/2012 06:33 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

The Time of Your Life

If today were my last day on Earth and I could share 500 words of brilliance with the world, here are the important things I'd want to pass along to others...

Life -- it's what we do between the time we get here and when we go. We only get one, and despite what other folks might suppose, it's ours to determine what to do with it.

We don't measure life in hours and minutes. We measure life in memories and moments.

What do you think of when you read this sentence? "It was the time of my life."

We don't say that often enough.

Life either happens to us, or we take hold of life and live it. Here are 10 ways start living your life.

1. Give yourself permission to claim your life. You're the only one who can decide you're in charge of your life. Turn off the editors, the "shoulds, have tos, and musts," and the rules that didn't come from you.
2. Define what living means to you. Picture yourself at the end of your life looking back. What words would you want to describe how you lived and who you are?
3. Stop living in the future. Every time you think "when I have time I will," stop. Ask yourself, "Why not now?" Choose your life every morning.
4. Surround yourself with people who enjoy living. They've obviously discovered how to have live. Why not hang with the pros?
5. Lay down your pain and your anger. Carrying them around makes living harder and less fun. It doesn't bring anything, and it steals a lot.
6. Let the other guy win. Don't argue about things that you don't care about. Unless there's a threat, let folks prove what they need to prove. Why waste living time trying to fix what doesn't matter?
7. Create energy. Jump to forgiveness and love, then figure things out. Most conclusions we imagine are both wrong and negative. Negative conclusions lead us to prepare a defense. Being defensive isn't living. It's hiding from life.
8. Learn the physical symptoms of when your head and heart become disconnected. We know when we're behaving badly. Key into to how it feels physically. Know the symptoms, and you can stop the behavior. Living will feel safer because you won't be shooting yourself in the foot.
9. Take small risks that push your boundaries in every way. When we stretch just a bit intellectually, physically, emotionally, we grow. Living is growing. Even our cells know that.
10. Value and protect the people and places you care about. Let the people you care about come first, and let everyone know that you do. Re-read numbers 1 and 2.
We come into life with whatever we've got. We're in charge after that. It took me a while to figure that out -- that my life isn't what happens to me -- I could take hold of it.
I want to have the time of my life. Have the time of your life.

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