In many cases, normal and customary is good. For example, when your temperature is 98.6 that is a good sign. To want to make the most of your life is also normal and admirable.
There are other times when normal and customary is not good. For example, it is normal and customary for Americans to consume more calories and exercise less than is ideal. Years ago a 300 cholesterol level was normal until the medical profession concluded it was unhealthy and adjusted the guidelines to be under 200.
It is also normal and customary to reach out to significant relationships and connect in important ways when death is imminent. This was beautifully written about in books like Tuesdays with Morrie, The Last Lecture and Chasing Daylight It is customary and normal to feel that when one delivers a eulogy that the thoughtful words of gratitude, respect and acknowledgment will be heard by the deceased.
What I discovered on my year long journey of gratitude as I have written about in This Is the Moment is that it is far more rewarding to you and the important people in your life to express deep and explicit gratitude while everyone is alive and well. It was my hope that my book will contribute to this practice as the new norm.
I will build on this principle in later blogs but for the moment I would like you to close your eyes and ask answer these two questions,
“Is there anyone who has made an important difference in my life who is no longer here?”
“Was there something that I would have wished I would have said to that person?”
From my experience, almost without exception, everyone answers “yes” to both of these questions. That is normal and customary. The pain of regret is the usual emotion and it is far from ideal.
It would be enlightening to members of our community to hear your stories of regret. It would be a real gift if it awakens others to not let this happen to them and to help them realize that This Is the Moment.
By expressing extraordinary gratitude to the significant people in your life you will find it not only eliminates the pain of regret but it also enhances your relationships and gives you peace of mind.
In future blogs, I will give you more examples of how the process of expressing deep gratitude can enrich your life and those that are important to you.
I know you are probably thinking, “I know this makes sense but …” Don’t worry I will slay those dragons that create this hesitancy in future blogs.