Take a moment to remember the last time you did something for someone and their happiness and gratitude made you shine brighter than any gift you’ve ever been given. That amazing feeling leaves a mark, doesn’t it? The connection between your soul and that person’s takes on a permanent hold.
We all know the saying, “Live every day like it’s your last” or any variation of the same idea. It aims to inspire us to live each day to the fullest because life is short, and no time should be wasted.
But there’s always been a slight caveat to this- it seems a bit selfish. While not meant this way, you might wonder if a person who knew it was their last day would spend it helping others, or skydiving and travelling. Would your last day send you into a whirlwind of compassion, or a bucket list frenzy?
That’s why the above quote, that reminds us to live each day is if it was the last day of those around you, really got me right in the feels.
As campus leaders, or leaders anywhere else in life, we are appointed to serve. Yes, it makes us feel fulfilled and happy, but that’s not the point. The point is that your work is positively affecting those you serve. In the context of this quote, that prospect becomes really really exciting because it puts living for others in great, big, beautiful perspective.
Imagine how amazing it would feel if everyone you interacted with all day felt like you were treating them like it was their last day. Imagine if they felt that important because of you.
You don’t have to throw anyone a huge party to live like it’s their last day. Here are a few ideas you can do every day, for everyone you meet:
1. Greet them with enthusiasm and give them your time. Make them know you are genuinely happy to see them. Stop for five minutes to chat, don’t rush away because you are too “busy”. Busy doing what? You’re a student leader, so spend time with the students.
2. Look for opportunities to help. Don’t wait to be asked, approach someone and offer assistance if they look like they could use it. Go out of your way to hold elevators and help carry heavy groceries. It’s those moments that will really make other students feel the community at your school.
3. Surprise them, just because. If you see a little something in a store that reminds you of someone, get it for them, and tell them it made you think of them.
4. Don’t keep your fond thoughts a secret. Ever find yourself reminiscing on a good memory with a friend or acquaintance? Or realize the impact someone had on your day? Don’t let that memory slip by! Send them a quick text to say hi and let them know you were thinking of them. They will appreciate it.
Remember, you are the steward of the way your community makes people feel. When you treat someone like it’s their last day, you give them a deeper sense of connection to the community. Once they feel that, they will spread that joy and love to others as well, because they will want to perpetuate the same culture of welcome and engagement.