One of the great wisdoms in life, especially if faced with a problem or task of magnitude, is to begin with the end in mind, then break it down into smaller pieces and solve each little problem backwards to where you are at that very moment. I have identified three crucial areas which need immediate attention – they are addressed more fully herein.
When you design your life – know one thing. Nothing in life is absolutely certain – except death. Now, without wanting to sound too morbid, or dim the mood, this is a reality that we all need to embrace, rather than avoid thinking about. I asked myself: “If I could choose the way I die, how would I want it to be? And when? And where?”
If I could have it my way, I’d prefer to die at a ripe old age, being as healthy as I possibly can without the usual aches, illnesses and pains. It would have to “peaceful in my sleep”, surrounded by my closest loved ones. I want “to go” without any regrets whatsoever. I want to know that I had a good innings – that I was given a gift (the gift of life) and that I embraced every single moment thereof. Moreover, I want to know that the people for whom I care and love, are taken well care off. There must be no fear or anxiety in my heart for what might lie ahead for me in life after death, nor for those whom I leave behind here on earth. Now as you know, although death is a certainty – we are unfortunately not privy to the answers of “when”, “where” and “how”. BUT….
There are certain things that ARE in our control. There are certain things we can do right now to take away our fears for the future. Some will be quick and easy to put into place, and others will take a little longer to work on. For those, we can only hope and pray that we will be granted sufficient time, to solve those problems before our individual hour glasses run out.
The ONLY way to live a full, meaningful and fearless life, is to be ready and prepared for death. If you were to die today, will it be okay? If not, chances are that you still have a few things to sort out – a few loose ends to tie up, so to speak.
Here is what I regard as the first action steps you need to take to set yourself free from the fears of life. So, if you have not done so yet, you need to consider taking the following actions TODAY:
- draft your last will and testament – if you have minors in your care, you need to address their wellbeing re guardianship and perhaps a testamentary trust
- if you have loved ones in your care, ensure to have adequate life insurance in place – knowing that they will be taken care off in your absence, lifts a huge burden from your soul.
- Be prepared for the possibility of life after death.
Drafting your Last Will and Testament:
The best advice I can give you here, is to go and see a solicitor ASAP and instruct him to draft one for you. Most provide this as a free service, as they would more often than not assist in the administration of your estate when you have passed away. For those services, they charge their usual fees. Trust me, you want professionals to administer your estate to ensure that people who owe money to your estate, pay up, like your life insurance for example, so that it can go to the people you designated in your Will.
An emergency Will. If you do not have a Will in place right now, and you foresee that it might take you a few days to have a professional Will in place, you can draft an emergency Will right now, which ought to be held effective, provided that you follow a few guidelines. In most jurisdictions around the world, the requirements for a valid Will are more or less the same. (Disclaimer: What follows is not legal advice and your jurisdiction might have further requirements – please verify for yourself.)
So, the legal requirements for a valid Will in most jurisdictions are as follows: Your Last Will and Testament must be in writing. Best is black ink on white paper. It can be typed or handwritten. Every page should be signed by yourself and two independent witnesses at the bottom of each page, but as close as possible to the last writing on the page. If your last page of your Will for example ends in the top third of the page, make sure to sign just below that. On the last page the full name and signature of the testator (person who is making the Will) and the two independent witnesses, as well as the date and place should be indicated. NOTE: ALL THREE PARTIES (THE TESTATOR AND TWO WITNESSES) MUST BE IN EACH OTHERS PRESENCE WHEN THE WILL IS SIGNED BY EACH OF THEM. If you have done this, your Will would be regarded as a valid Last Will and Testament in most jurisdictions world wide.
What happens if you don’t have a Will when you die? Well, in that case the law of Intestacy of your jurisdiction would apply. These are rules to say what happens to your assets in your estate upon your death, if you died without a valid will. Usually, if you are married with kids for example, one half would go to your spouse and the other half divided between your kids.
The total sum of your life insurance should be enough to pay off all your anticipated debts and to provide financially for your loved ones. The best advice I can give you here, is to see an Insurance Broker and let them provide you with the different options. Don’t just blindly accept what they suggest – do your own research BEFORE the time – that way you will make a more informed decision.
If you have taken care of these two areas, you are almost ready to meet death, even if it plans to interrupt your life prematurely.
Life after death
Whether or not you are a believer in life after death – you cannot exclude the possibility. The only way to have peace of mind about this issue, is to sort it out for yourself once and for all. If you decide you don’t believe in life after that, based on the information available to you at the time you make that decision – fair enough. As long as you are comfortable with your decision and take full responsibility for the consequences of your decision, you should have peace of mind. But what if you are wrong? Would it hurt to take out “after life insurance”? Just for in case? Here’s why: We are going to be dead much longer than we were alive and if there is such a thing as life after death, you would want to be prepared for it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to matters of faith, whether you believe in the BIG BANG theory or whether you believe in a CREATOR GOD, we all have to rely upon second hand information and science based on foundational assumptions. Unfortunately none of us were there when the initial decisions were made or when creation came into existence. All I know is that it takes a lot more faith to believe in the BIG BANG theory of evolution than it is to believe in a CREATOR GOD. I simply cannot understand how a rock can turn into the most beautiful intricate flower – let alone all the miracles in that is visible in the human body. How can CHAOS produce such accuracy in design? I am sorry, I cannot begin to fantom the faith it takes to believe that. It is also not backed by the earliest recordings of history.
As you can gather, I believe, and it’s a decision I made for myself based on all the information available to me, in a CREATOR GOD. I belief that He has created this universe and designed each and every minute detail thereof in accordance with His will and pleasure. I believe that all He ever wanted was for us to love Him and to love one another as we love ourselves. I believe, and am thankful for the fact that we all have free will to decide for ourselves. (Nobody wants someone to love you just because they HAVE to. What kind of love would that be?)
I also believe, as is evidenced in the recorded history of the world, that our ancestors – well a lot of them – decided not to believe in Him. They found it too hard to follow the rules of good living He has given them. They exhibited their choice through the way they lived their lives. They rejected God and ended up in misery. In compassion, He sent His son Jesus, to come to this earth and set us free from our inadequacies. Sin always has to be punished by death. Jesus’s death was punishment for all our sins, past – present and future. The only rule He left us through Jesus was this: Love Me with all your heart soul and mind, and love your neighbour as you love yourself. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and there is no proof that He wasn’t, thereby conquering death and sin on our behalf. With that one act, God has forgiven you and me for all our sins – past, present and future – as long as we believe in Jesus – that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – that through faith in Him we obtain eternal life with the CREATOR GOD.
To become a Christian does not mean you choose to abide by a certain set of rules – it only means that you accept His gracious offer to believe that Jesus died for your sins and broke you free from its bondage. It does not mean you will stop sinning – it means you will want to stop and will feel extreme remorse if you did. Not too worry, through your faith in Him, you will gain access to life after death with Him. There is just one commandment – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbour as you love yourself. How? Ensure that the consequences of all the decisions you make, are in line with this love and you will be filled with a PEACE that surpasses all else.
So, if you have not done so yet, I encourage you to gain the information you need ASAP in order to take out the best after life insurance you can afford. Hey, if I’m wrong in this, what is the worst thing that can happen? NOTHING. Except that you would have lived a life here on earth having being loved by countless others, experiencing love on a daily basis and having had the privilege of loving yourself.
If you have taken care of these three initial issues, you have nothing to fear in death. You are now set to begin living your life like never before – without fear – without anxiety about the “unknown”. Why? Because you are prepared. You have taken control over your own destiny. If life wants to prematurely intervene – no problem.
You are now ready to design the rest of your life – no matter how long or short it’s going to be – let’s make it beautiful!
I want to leave you with something that the Dalai Lama recently said. Listen to this:
- How true is this? Let’s do something about it!