I have seen numerous posts lately on various blogs about people who are dying, or have died recently says Paul Haarman. The posts are touching and so well-written. I think it’s wonderful that people are doing the thing they love most in their final days: writing. In my experience, people who write tend to be very good at it. So here is my attempt at a touching farewell piece.
This article is an instructional guide on how to spend your money before you die, and hopefully make you a little happier along the way.
1) Experience Your Dreams –
Unfortunately, life is one big trade-off – we have to give up one dream for another until eventually there is nothing left but emptiness. For instance, if you decide to have children instead of traveling across Europe as a backpacker or living as a hermit alone on some tropical island then you may regret that decision later down the road.
The majority of our money is spent on things we do not need – buying unnecessary items might make us happy for a short time or solve problems in the short term, but ultimately it leads to dissatisfaction. We often think it makes us happy, but it just makes us want more.
Interestingly, when we save and wait to purchase what we really need, we tend to value it a lot more than if we had simply bought the item at the first available opportunity. This is an extremely powerful concept and one that few people take advantage of.
I’m not saying you should deprive yourself of things like food and shelter – I think they are taken care of in most societies (however imperfectly) – but I am suggesting that you prioritize your needs and start saving for what you really want (and stop shopping impulsively).
Here is my simple rule: “If you can’t pay cash for it then don’t buy it.”
2) Live Your Life without Regrets –
Regrets suck. I know, I have them too.
The best way to not have regrets is to do something about it now – take action. But don’t rush headlong into every project you are interested in either – you will still have time for your dreams later on (you may just need to adjust the time frame a bit).
You only get one shot at this thing called life so I suggest making sure there are as few regrets as possible before shuffling off this mortal coil because death is a permanent situation, and you don’t want to live with regret forever explains Paul Haarman.
3) Spend Your Money Wisely –
Money flows through life like water through a canyon – eventually leading to the river of death (or the sewer depending on your personal philosophy).
If you follow tip number one then this will be simple for you, if not it can get pretty complicated. There are basically 3 ways that people spend their money: frugally, extravagantly or somewhere in between. I think most people fall into this middle “somewhere” category but there is no reason not to find out where you belong and adjust accordingly.
4) Live In the Present –
The past is gone, the future is uncertain. What we have here and now is all there really is – so make the most of it. I think this one should be a no brainer, but sadly it isn’t for a good percentage of people out there.
Whether you are waiting for your ship to come in or trying to live off the last dollar you will ever earn – take time to smell the roses (or whatever flower strikes your fancy).
5) Give Back To Society and the World We All Share –
Yeah, yeah, karma… I get it; however, in case you haven’t noticed this world needs some work done on its infrastructure. Whether fixing potholes in our roads with our bare hands, picking up trash in the park or simply holding the door open for an elderly woman – find some way to make your fellow man feel like they matter says Paul Haarman.
If this seems harsh remember what happened when we stopped worrying about taking care of each other – outside forces came into play like war, famine and plague. This world needs more cooperation not less! This isn’t just limited to people; animals, land, air and sea are all part of our shared existence so give them a chance too!
6) Spend Time with Friends and Family –
This one is the most important. It probably seems obvious to you, but sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Like tip number 5 above. Just do something nice for someone else and it will come back around to you as well explains Paul Haarman. Now I’m not suggesting that we all take a vow of poverty and go live in a cave; what I am saying is that we should balance our time between ourselves and other living things (humans and beyond).
We all like to make up these infinite checklists of how to live your life. But I believe that this is the best way (or at least a good start). It has worked for me; it might work for you too.