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We heard this question recently and, like the person posing it, expected an answer along the usual lines. Do a stretch or two. Have a shower. Don’t forget breakfast. Clean your teeth. 
 
Instead, a completely unexpected one came back. 
 
Be grateful – and happy – that you’re alive. 
 
It’s such a simple answer – and so obvious – and yet when did we last do it? Wake up being truly grateful and happy that we’re alive.  
 
Greeted the new day with a big smile. 
 
 
If you’re a child enjoying the school holidays – and hopefully without a care in the world – then this should apply to you. 
 
But, if you’re an adult, can you honestly remember the last time you woke up full of the joys of spring? Happy to be alive. Probably not, as the cares and troubles of our lives have a way of blotting out everything else from the moment we open our eyes in the morning. 
And yet, how often do we stop to consider the alternative? That, if we don’t wake up, then nothing else matters. For us. Or those left behind. 
 
As someone so beautifully put it – and we’re paraphrasing it, as the exact words have eluded us – “If I wake up, stretch out my arms and there aren’t any sides there, it’s a great day!” 
 
Before you think this is all rather morbid, it isn’t meant to be. Instead it’s intended as a gentle wake up call. Not only to how wonderful life is. How fortunate we were to wake up this morning. 
 
But to remind us how precious a gift life is BECAUSE it’s finite. And, here’s the twist in the tail, we never know exactly how finite until it’s too late… 
 
When we forget that we’re mortal, it’s all too easy to waste our most precious – and limited – resource. Doing stupid things or ones that don’t make us happy. Living by someone else’s rules – or priorities – rather than our own. Whether it be jobs, relationships or friends. And we’ve all done it, perhaps are still doing it. 
 
Chasing after all those shiny material goodies, instead of concentrating on what makes us truly happy. Forgetting that true happiness comes from inside, not from the things we surround ourselves with. 
 
And, if this all sounds as bit too “airy fairy”, just spend some time with one of your older relatives or friends. Not only will they enjoy seeing you – and you may learn some interesting things along the way (!) – but they’ll remind you of the important things in life. Or, may be, listen to those who’ve been seriously ill or had a near death experience. 
 
Either way, the message will be the same. Follow your heart and learn to be happy whatever else is going on in your life. And we guarantee they won’t be suggesting spending more time at work or being focussed on getting the latest gizmo. 
 
At the end of the day all we truly have are our experiences and memories, we can’t take any “stuff” with us. 
 
Let’s finish with a quote that we can remember (!): 
 
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
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