If You Could Live Life Over Again

I heard about a survey taken of people in their 90’s. They were asked one question: “If you could live life over again, what would you do differently?”

That peaked my interest. I figured this group would have gleaned some wisdom after 90 years on this planet.

Their three top answers may surprise you. Here’s what they said.


#3. I would eat more ice cream.

This answer may seem frivolous, but it illustrates a deeper point.

I can get so caught up in what I need to do in life that I forget to live.  And sometimes I get lost in the day-to-day and don’t find time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

We will all go through hard times.  And life may bring tragedy.  But in the midst of it all, God still creates a new sunrise for each new day.

#2. I would spend more time in reflection.

Plato records Socrates as saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  I realize that statement may be a little extreme, but it makes an interesting point.

We rush and we run through life.  And yet how often do we take stock of our lives?

Back in the 80’s, the Talking Heads released a song called Once in a Lifetime.  Here’s how it starts.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?

Near the end, the song asks yet more insightful questions.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?!

I realize I need to I ask myself, Am I living my life according to what God requires of me?

I would rather look myself in the mirror now and ask that question.  I’d rather not have God look me in the face and ask that question.

#1. I would invest myself in something that will live on after me. 

As humans we want to know that our lives count.  We want to leave behind something that will show that we were here.

A planned gift to a cause we believe in is one way that we can express our values.  We can make a statement by giving of our substance to an organization that does good work.

And yet a legacy is not always left in bricks and mortar.  A legacy is often left in flesh and blood.

The time we pour into a child or any other human being is never wasted.  We live on in the memory of those we have impacted the most.

I want to take the advice of those 90-year-olds.  They have a lot to teach me.

I think I’ll go reflect on the legacy I want to leave.  Over a bowl of ice cream.

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