The Wrong Way And The Right Way To Make An Impact Before You Die

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Death At Any Age

You could be one breath away from death. Have you ever contemplated that fact?

While doing research on my last post, How To Pursue Excellence Like Andy Griffith, I ran across the website This site has a picture gallery for celebrities who have passed away within the last few years.

As I quickly scanned through this gallery, I was struck by the wide range of age in these deaths from young to very old. This gallery includes celebrities who have passed in their mid-30s all they way up into their 100s.

As I looked at the cause of death, especially in many of the younger celebrities, I saw a pattern of wrong living. I saw young celebrities who have made a horrible impact on those around them. But, I also saw others who have lived amazing lives.

What would be considered the wrong way and right way of making an impact in this world before you die?

The Wrong Way

If I could boil it down to one key characteristic, I would say that the wrong way to make an impact in your life here on earth is to live selfishly. Don’t give a flying flip about what your spouse, immediate family, extended family, friends, or co-workers think. Do whatever you want, and the heck with whatever anybody else thinks. Hey, it’s your life not theirs. Chase after every pleasure under the sun. Make life all about you.

These type of people have the statistical tendency to end up dying from drug overdoses, drunk driving, drive-by shootings, and suicides. Or, they have so abused their bodies and minds that they can barely make it into their 50s and 60s. They die younger than expected.

The Right Way

Conversely, if I could boil the right way down to one key characteristic, I would say it’s about living a generous life. I’m not taking about giving money, either. If you have a generous spirit, you care about others. If you care about others, especially those closest to you, then you’re going to take care of yourself. You’re not going to abuse your body into an early grave.

If you’re doing things the right way, then you will be making major contributions into people’s lives. You will spend time with them, care for them, inspire them, and learn from them. You will be a positive influence and major force for good in the lives of others. You will care more about others than yourself.

Living life the right way, of course, is no guarantee for a long life. Awesome, clean-living, generous people die young too. The difference, though, is that even after living a shorter life, they were still able to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Which Way Are You Headed?

So, are you headed down the wrong path or right path? Are you living a life of selfishness or generosity? Do you care more about yourself or others? Do you even really care about making an impact in the lives of others? When you do pass from this life into the next, how will people remember you? Will they remember you as being a selfish or generous person?

I would encourage you to take a long, hard look at your own life and determine which path you’re currently on. If you’re headed down the wrong path, figure out a way to reverse course as quickly as possible. It’s never too late to make a positive life change.

Have you experienced the impact of right or wrong living in your life or as a result of someone close to you? If so, feel free to share your story in the comments section.

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