THE BLOG
04/18/2013 06:47 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2013

The Number One Way People Screw Up Life -- Are You Making This Mistake?

That got your attention, didn't it?

And what is the number one way that people screw up life? By taking it for granted. Assuming there will be time to fix things, find the right person, make the changes you should and be happy... later.

Think about the last time you lost someone close to you. It could be that they passed away, maybe it was a friendship that suddenly went south, or possibly a relationship that ended abruptly.

If you'd have known that it was the last hug, kiss or conversation, would you have made more of an effort? Would you have listened deeply, while appreciating the sound of their voice? Would you have given them a real kiss, not just the hurried, routine version? Would you have said "I love you" with every fiber of your being?

We never know when our last moments, kisses and conversations with the ones we love are going to be. Yet we choose to ignore this truth and take the people and things in our lives for granted.

We put them off, prioritize other things that aren't actually more important... and we certainly don't show up in each moment with those people and things (jobs, experiences, life) with the attention, present-minded focus and care that we should.

We're All Human

And that means that this is a natural state of being. We fear death, goodbyes and loss... so we don't keep that a the top of our mind. We assume that it will be down the road, we'll deal with it then. We'll get better and more focused later. It's okay to put these things off for just a bit longer, because there's always the weekend. Except that sometimes there's not.

Sometimes tomorrow really never comes and life really does change in an instant.

Live With a Sense of Urgency

Choose to be more than "just human" and live with a heightened sense of urgency. Not in the sense that "there aren't enough hours in the day" or that you have way too many things on your to-do list. You probably do, but that's not my point...

My point is that there's value in living your life constantly aware of and accepting the fact that one day, it will end. Whether that's a break up, loss of life or time running out... all things must come to an end. Don't allow yourself to be one of those people that kicks themselves for having wasting precious moments. Rise above the human condition...

Do better. Love deeper. Experience more. Be present.

Say I love you like you really, truly mean it.

We throw around "I love you" in relationships like we say hello and goodbye. We just do it because we should. Sure, we love them... but do we take that pause before speaking to really feel and express it? No. We just pop the words out with a standard kiss on the way out the door.

We aren't present in those moments. We don't give them the love they deserve. We don't give ourselves the love that we deserve. And this goes for more interactions than just the "I love you's" that you're throwing around mindlessly.

Do better. Love deeper.

Make real memories with the ones you love.

Life is busy and sometimes it's hard to make time for the important things. The anniversaries, the birthdays... the seemingly unimportant moments of moving into a new home together or that first big promotion at work. We say that we'll celebrate later or assume that it's not a priority. But what will you have when you look back at your time here? A lot of missed opportunities to experience life to its fullest?

Make life a celebration. We're only here once, that we'll know of, so live it like you mean it! Live it fully. Show up to each moment, truly experience it and create real memories.

Don't just go to the park, have a picnic. Make it a full day, take pictures and be present for it. Work and expectations will be there when you get back either way, better to leave them behind and really show up in the moments that count.

Never, ever settle for less that you want or deserve.

Even if you get to live a long one, life is short. Time flies. Everyone says it and you know it's true. Why waste it with people, jobs or things that are less than you deserve? Less than you want?

If you want a love that is deep, passionate and life-altering, then don't spend another minute with someone that you don't connect with deeply. If you want a job that allows you to do great things, leave your mark and feel fulfilled at the end of each day, don't settle for any old job that will cover the bills.

Don't stay with people or in a job because you feel like it's the best you'll get... or that "it'll do." You can do better if you feel like "it'll do." You can have extraordinary, passionate, deep, mind-blowing, colorful, lively, exciting, romantic and so much more. You just have to stop settling.

If you feel the slightest twinge of "meh" or "this'll do," run in the opposite direction. You can waste years of your life at the wrong job, with the wrong person or in the wrong city.

I'm not saying you have to make huge, life altering changes right this minute. But change things. Put the plans into place to move your life from "it'll do" to extraordinary. You deserve it.

Just Be You.

Don't waste time trying to fit in, live up to your family's expectations or be the perfect [fill in the blank]. Just be you. Be messy, moody, opinionated, passionate, eccentric, wild and picky. Don't eat what you don't like, don't go to movies you hate, don't do things just because everyone else wants to.

Don't give a single thought to what other people think of you. It doesn't mean be insensitive, destructive or mean, it means stop caring if everyone likes you. Stop worrying that you're embarrassing your mother or that the others will think you're lame. It's who you are. They can take it or leave it.

There's no sense in wasting time pretending to be someone you're not so that you'll fit in with the people you don't belong with. Life is short, spend it with people who love and appreciate the real you.

Take Action Now!

You deserve better. You deserve a life that has deep connections, meaning, memories, love and happiness. Take a moment to assess your life...

Where are you not showing up? Where can you do better and stop taking people and things for granted? Where you can you be more fully yourself?

If you only had a year to live, how would you want to spend it? When you have that answer, share with me one step you're going to take this week to make that dream a reality.

Need help? Let me know what you're struggling with and we'll figure it out together.

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."

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