If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?

We go to sleep each night like we know we’ll wake up tomorrow. That’s a habit we’re trained to have more and more each year. As we go to sleep and wake up each morning, we begin to feel each new day is guaranteed. This can lead to being less grateful for the life we live. And sadly, one day we just won’t have the luxury of waking up the next day.

But we never know when that day will come. And that’s a double edged sword. Some of us live with no sense of urgency. We think that we have a whole lifetime to do things we want in life. Without knowing exactly when we’ll die, it’s hard not to think we have many more full years ahead of us. But how would our lives change if we did know we had just five more years to live?

Here’s what I would try to accomplish and my thoughts on it.

Anybody would easily be shocked to hear they have just five years to live. But because I’ve heard things like this before in life, I’ve actively thought about the scenario. Growing up I’ve learned that sickle cell patients have an average lifespan of thirty years. That has since grown to forty years of life. But it has always affected my thinking on my life.

Thirty years is not getting five years to live. But as I’m twenty three years old getting closer to reaching twenty five or thirty, I think of how similar the situations are. I think hearing you have a limited amount of years to live really makes us zero in on what’s important.

This thought always made me think about my priorities and where they should be. I know I spend a lot of time on business, success, and financial goals. These are important to me. Even more I value thinking about building a legacy and having something for the world to remember me by.

But when really thinking about spending five more years alive, my main priority goes to family, friends, and happiness. The only goal I would want to accomplish is create as much happiness and good memories with the people I love. I want to do as many exciting and fun things as possible. The goal would be to make sure everyone I care about knows how much I love them.

Each and every person should have a true understanding of how I feel about them. I would also want each one of my friends and family to have at least one great memory of me. Something they can always remember me by and think about when they miss me. It would be hard leaving all these special people but it would help knowing we spent those five years bonding.

The only other goal I think would be a priority is finding true happiness. I’m not sure what exactly it would take. But I know I would want to spend my last years if not all my years in life as happy as I can be. So lots of snacks, videogames, books, documentaries, and friends to share it with.

Five years is short when you know it’s your last five years. So the goal is to spend it happy with the people I love. Nothing more, nothing less.

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