I was pleasantly surprised last Friday after ordering a medium milk chocolate mocha at the Caribou Coffee down the street when they told me, “Happy Birthday! This one’s on us.” I didn’t have to sign up for any rewards programs nor apply for a new credit card and they still gave me a free drink. I mean, it was my thirtieth birthday after all.

Sipping on my drink, I sat down to do some reading and possibly some writing. About an hour later, I got a call from my mom that I was somewhat expecting “Grandma just passed away”, Mom told me. “She went peacefully”, she added.

It was quite the mixture of good feelings and sad feelings that day. I know I’ll never forget my 30th birthday. It was such a momentous day as it was, let alone being the day I lost such an important person to me.

Grandma was 89, so she obviously lived a long life. There haven’t been many deaths in my family where we could honestly say those words. My other grandparents left us much earlier in their lives, two in their early 80s and my grandpa Mathias in his early 60s.

Today, April 8th, marks the 13th anniversary of my dad’s passing. He was 46 years old.

So, as we wait this week for the memorial service of my last grandparent to go, and with this day being the day it is, I’m reflecting on that thing each of us will face, death.

It’s not that I’m being negative. It’s that I’m being realistic. We will all face death in our future, both that of people who go before us and then our own after that. Facing what will happen can help us make sure we’re not wasting our time here on earth.

What really happens to those of us who don’t chase our dreams?

What happens to us when we don’t chase our dreams is simple. We die.

“But, Kraig, we die even if we do chase our dreams!” you may respond with. Yes, you are correct. Those who chase their dreams will die too.

So if we all will die, then why would some of us choose not to do what we really believe we can do?

Easy. Because, we’re scared.

I’m scared even though I’m taking huge risks. That fear doesn’t go away just because I took the leap. But, it is possible to deal with it and keep that fear under control.

Fear is okay, as long as it doesn’t keep us from doing what we believe we need to do.

How many of us are dreading our paths in life? How many of us feel like we’re dying inside a little bit every single day? I bet a lot of us do. I have felt that way before.

Should Everyone Just Be Irresponsible and Go Chase Their Dreams?

No, of course we should not be irresponsible, but yes, we should start chasing our dreams. If you know you don’t want to continue on the path you’re on long term, then it’s time to lay the groundwork for your next step after this.

If you’re broke because you keep spending all your money on stupid stuff, and at the same time love the way you earn your income, then fine keep going and being broke. It’s obviously working out okay for you since you love what you’re doing and you are bringing in enough income to live how you want to.

But if you’re broke and hate what you’re doing with your life, then you have a massive problem. You’re stuck, buddy.

The point isn’t to be all “new agey” and “YOLOish”, but instead it’s to not spend your life settling for less than you’re capable of doing. Don’t sit in a job you aren’t happy with just because it’s more secure. It’s not worth it. You could die in two years, or four, or ten. Is it really a smart move to delay things another five years? No, it’s not smart.

We are all meant to do more than that.

Our Years Aren’t Worth Any Amount of Money

I encourage you to do some reflection on what it is your doing with your year this year, 2014. Is it being spent working toward something you believe in and care about? Or is it being spent working toward something someone else believes in and cares about. Why would you donate an entire year of your short life to postpone what’s important to you and “sell” your year for a few bucks?

Haven’t you figured out yet that our lives weren’t meant to be sold and that no year of our life is ever worth any amount of money?

PS: Have you subscribed to the CMI podcast yet? Here’s a link to the show both on this site and on iTunes.