Last week I was back at the Mayo Clinic with my Dad in Rochester MN. It was a really amazing experience. I was so impressed with their business model for interacting with their patients. The care that we received was so thorough and definitely world-class from every aspect. I even got my own experience as a patient when I started having symptoms of a detached retina. Luckily that was not the case. But I did walk away from the Mayo Clinic with a few mottos. You realize that there are many sick people in the world, and at an institution like the Mayo you see many that are at the end of their lives. It is a very sobering experience. So I realized two things – very profoundly. One – Use it while you have it! I sat there watching so many people that can no longer lead full and active lives. I have the ability yet, don’t always schedule time enough for me to allow myself to stay fit and healthy; time to go do fun and active things I want to do right now. And second – Be grateful every single day. Every day you are healthy is a day to be thankful and to show gratitude. It is amazing how fleeting your health can be. While I was waiting to be checked for my eye, I had to come to terms that I may within a period of hours no longer have sight in one of my eyes. Luckily that was not the case, but gosh it was a wakeup call.
From Rochester I flew on to Vancouver B.C. where I am a student in the Strategic Coach® program. (www.strategiccoach.com). Strategic Coach is an organization run by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs use the Program’s concepts and tools to create greater success and freedom for themselves, and more value and satisfaction for their clientele. I have been in the program for 6 years now and I just love the perspective shift I get each quarter during my daylong session. The last class introduced us to a tool named “Absolutely Unacceptable Regrets”. It was such a synergistic event coming from my Mayo Clinic experience. In this exercise you look back at your life from the perspective that you are about to die. What would be your largest regrets? It is an eye-opening and sobering thought process. I must admit that the room got really quiet during this exercise. Once again I realized that I really have to put myself and my health at the top of my priorities. At Mayo, my Dad had complained about being old (he is 82), to which the doctor responded that really nowadays old is when you are over 100. I had to get really honest with myself that if I want to live to be old (my goal is 115), I have to get in shape now, and use it while I have it and be thankful that I can!
Since my class this whole concept has been bouncing about in my brain. What other regrets do I have? And then it hit me. Finger painting! I absolutely loved finger painting as a kid. I can’t explain the joy and freedom I felt when I was able to finger paint. It is such a primal feeling, having your fingers in the paint. I think that is one reason I love to bake. I love having my fingers in the dough. But I guess I was in the era of budget cuts and finger paints and the special paper needed was probably too expensive, so it was phased out. I can remember that I yearned for the opportunity to finger paint throughout elementary school.
So… have no regrets and take advantage of what life throws you. And on that note, I think I may just go out and buy some finger painting supplies!