Summary: Don’t wait for a life changing event to change your life. Instead, start today.
In 2019, I experienced turbulence like never before on a flight from North Carolina to Virginia. When I smelled a weird smell in the air, I immediately knew that something was wrong.
The fact that we had had experienced multiple delays due to “maintenance issues” prior to takeoff didn’t help my confidence. I really knew things weren’t right when I looked at the flight attendant.
Flight attendants’ demeanors have always been my indicator of whether everything was going to be okay, or if they were about to go in a not-so-fun direction.
When I saw the panic in the flight attendant’s eyes and she reached for a manual that I’d never seen anyone reach for before, it was clear that this wasn’t a drill.
When the pilot announced that we would “attempt” an emergency landing, and when the flight attendant then read safety instructions about how to properly brace with a quivering voice, all I could think was, I have two text messages to send.
The first text went to my mother. It said thank-you for all she did for me, and also asked her to tell my siblings that I love them. The second text I sent, more challenging than the first, was to my wife.
“Flight not going as planned. We’re gonna do an emergency landing in Raleigh. It’s gonna be okay. If anything happens, I love you and the kids with everything. Let the kids know Daddy is always with them. They are Neves strong. Let them know to live a life of discipline, joy, and love. Love you.”
After we were low enough for me to get reception and I saw the bars appear on my phone, I pressed Send.
This was the hardest and easiest message I had ever written.
After seeing that the messages were sent, I took a deep breath and said quietly, “Thank you,” as I gathered and steadied myself.
This was followed by an awkward chuckle, and then I said to myself, “Ain’t this some $hit?”
Spoiler alert: We landed safely, though aggressively, surrounded by firetrucks and ambulances. However this experience shook me to my core.
Ironically, when we landed, I looked over to see someone just waking up, completely unaware of everything that had just taken place. To this day, I’m thankful that I was awake and fully present during this life-changing experience.
My takeaway from all this is that when you’re faced with what might be the end of your life, only the important things come to mind. It’s a powerful reminder:
Don’t wait for a life-altering event to start living the life you’re meant to live.
Sadly, that’s what most of us are doing with our lives. Waiting. For a sign. For someone else to make a decision. For that winning lottery ticket.
Waiting is like slowly pouring water on a blazing fire. It’s still going, but with each passing moment, the fire gets smaller and smaller.
The fire I’m talking about is your drive, your passion, and your desire for change.
We’ve all heard the stories of someone surviving a terrible car accident that should’ve killed them, beating a fatal disease like cancer, or losing a loved one.
It was in those moments of excruciating life-changing pain that they decided to make an intentional shift with their lives.
How would your life change if you experienced a near-death experience? Odds are you would easily be able to finish the following statements:
I would no longer do this . . .
I wouldn’t worry about that . . .
I would say what I really want to say . . .
I would travel here . . .
I would spend more time with . . .
I would ignore this . . .
I would tell the people I love most how much they mean to me . . .
I wouldn’t get hung up on what doesn’t really matter . . .
I wouldn’t waste time on this . . .
I would finally finish that project I’ve been talking about . . .
I would . . .
Again, how would your life change if you experienced a near-death experience?
Based on your answers, a second question is: What are you waiting for?
The answers to powerful questions like these aren’t always easy, but they are necessary. In short, it’s worth it. Don’t wait.
Always remember, and when in doubt:
Don’t wait for a life changing event to change your life. You are the life-altering event your life is waiting for.