What Would You Write on Your Hat?

The presumption that there will be a tomorrow is just that.

I am sure when 64 year old, Edward Rosenthal left on his day hike in the Joshua Tree National Park, he, his wife of 21 years and their daughter all presumed the same.  As described in a Today.msnbc.com article, Edward got lost and walked 13 miles until he could walk no more in the 100 degree weather.  Miraculously he survived six days without food or water.

During the time I have taken to write this blog, others were not as lucky as Edward.  Every hour of the every day, 365 days a year, on average 5 people who presumed they would be here tomorrow were killed in a fatal car accident.  When I was 17 years old and a freshman in college, I was called home to learn that my father had a fatal heart attack that day.  It was devastating for me and my family.  Every day on average 1,360 families, 500,000 a year get a similar message – your loved one has died of a heart attack.  The expectation that there would be a tomorrow for their loved one was not to be.

There are lots of articles written about how to prevent heart attacks, drive safely and avoid other life threatening events but still thousands of people die unexpectedly.  Even heeding this advice can not prevent these devastating, unpredictable human losses.  But that is not the end of the story.

In almost all of these cases, the surviving family members are left with searing and everlasting pain that comes from the regret for all that they had left unsaid with their now departed loved ones.  From this day forward, this does not have to be.  We may not prevent the death but you can prevent the painful regret.

Remember Edward, our lost hiker?  The good news is that he survived six days without food or water.  Part of what kept him alive was his focus on writing notes on his hat (he had a pen but no paper) telling his wife and daughter how much he loved them along with heartfelt expressions of appreciation to some of his clients.  Edward was lucky on two counts.  First, he survived and secondly, he got to express his profound love and gratitude in the writings on his hat.  Excuse the pun, let’s take our “hat’s off” to Edward for both of these good fortunes. I do not know about you.  I hope I have a tomorrow but someday I will not.  Nor will your loved ones.  Nor will you.

There is a simple way to avoid regrets for all that is left unsaid if someone important to you dies in the future.  It is simple but not easy since it is not usual or customary.  In my newly released book, This Is the Moment, I chronicled my yearlong journey of gratitude where I visited and expressed my profound gratitude to all those who had made a real impact on my life.  It not only was a relationship and life enhancing experience of extraordinary magnitude, it also prevented me from having any regrets if my life influencers or I die tomorrow..  I wrote this book to help you achieve the same peace of mind that I have. What would you write on your hat?  Would you consider communicating that message today?  I have yet to hear one story of someone who prematurely expressed their deep gratitude to someone who was important to them.

To get started on your journey, please visit my website today for more tools   http://thisisthemoment.com/

Whether you read my book or visit my website, I would love you to share with our community your stories of how you have taken the path less traveled, the one that is not filled with regret.

To see the full article about Edward’s hiking adventure, go to http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39463137/ns/today-today_people

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