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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Live Your Own Life

A USA Today reporter has written an insightful and interesting article that can help many of put our problems in perspective. The title of his article is, "How cheating death can change your life" and it is worth the read.

Near-death experiences (NDEs) describe what happens when people survive near death experiences or live through the process of battling a life-threatening or terminal disease. Many people that go through this experience agree that it changes their long term perspective. Said one survivor, "Death is very likely the single-best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true." Says another: "Near-death experiences give you balance. You become more worldly. Your ideas become bigger."Many say the experience changed "them in profound ways and give them a heightened sense of purpose." As one put it: "Life becomes shinier. You should plan for the long haul, but there is a big difference in doing that and making perpetual sacrifices."

Pancreatic cancer almost claimed the life of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He put it into perspective at a commencement speech he gave at Stanford in 2005:

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." As basketball coaches we sometimes take our jobs as life and death when after reading this article we understand that is the legacy we leave when we touch others' lives that is the reason we coach, not for the thrill of winning the championship. (Although that helps!)

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