Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

Several years ago a man with cancerous tumors all over his body was about to speak in front of the entire world.

He was so frail and fragile that he needed a special friend to help him walk up the 7 steps and 20 feet from where he sat to the podium.

And there stood what seemed to be a healthy looking man on the outside in front of a standing room only crowd, along with a worldwide audience watching his every move.

But on the inside was a 47 year old man whose physical body had been taken over by cancer.

In 10 minutes he gave a legendary speech that touched the lives of people everywhere. It was a speech that still to this day involves how your life can and does turn out.

While the words he spoke has meaning as it relates to your life, there were 4 words that especially stood out.

At first these 4 words may seem surprising because they were coming from somebody who knew their life was running out of time.

And while most of the world still remembers his speech and those 4 famous words, many others still forget and do the complete opposite.

The reason why many people forget is because they’re worried about “time.”

This leads to the question…

“Are you running out of time?”

…And the 4 words former basketball coach Jim Valvano said on that night back in March 1993 were, “Don’t ever give up.”

1. Laughter, thoughts, and tears- Exactly 8 weeks after Jim Valvano gave his famous, “Don’t ever give up” speech he passed away. Even though most people remember those 4 famous words, there were other words he spoke in those 10 minutes that can transform your life.

And among those were 3 things to do everyday…Laugh, spend time thinking, and have emotions that move you to tears. He said by doing this seven days per week you’ll have something special.

So what does a man, whose life was running out of time, have anything to do with your life?

It comes back to that word again…”time.”

How many times do you find yourself saying, “I have no time?”

Or how many times do you get the feeling that you’re running out of time? How often does it seem like your life is passing you by…like a ticking time bomb ready to explode?

Jim Valvano knew he only had a few weeks left to live. But what about you? How much time do you have left?

The answer is…you don’t know.

So isn’t it a good idea to treat each day like it would be your last? Now of course I don’t mean this literally to the point where you would do something extreme…

But what I do mean goes back to the 3 things Jim Valvano said to do every day…Laugh, spend time in thought, and have emotions that move you to tears.

And along with this you’ll start to realize that you’re really not running out of time, especially when those tears are tears of gratitude…

Because when you’re in this state of gratitude your heart opens and you’ll be inspired. In this moment you no longer have the feeling that you’re running out of time…

And you now have a timeless mind.and an ageless body.

2. Pain of inspiration- What really stood out with Jim Valvano through his last days was his positive attitude. Despite feeling paralyzed by physical pain he still continued to be himself. And he was able to do this by showing the both sides of life.

In other words, as he was speaking and showing his positive spirit, he was masking the tremendous amount of pain being felt throughout his entire body.

Now even though this was the case with him physically, it is still inspiring.

Why?

Because here was a man whose physical life was coming to an end and he still maintained his true authentic self. This is one of the main reasons why people still see Jim Valvano as an inspiration.

Take a look at the different moments in your life when you felt your world was falling apart. As you do, look to see where your world was being built back up.

Said another way…

Look for the moments in your life where you felt pain in some way. It could be something that had to do with your family, your career, your financial situation, and so on.

Then look to see where you were having pleasure at the same time.

So if you were having a “down” or “sad” moment, where were you having an “up” and “happy” moment?

What it comes down to is that when you are living an inspiring and fulfilled life, you’ll have the pains and pleasures, the happy and sad, the giving and taking, in the different areas of your life…equally.

And along with this you won’t have the feeling that you’re running out of time.

3. Your timeless heart- Towards the end of Jim Valvano’s speech a teleprompter in  the background said that he only had 30 seconds left to speak. When Valvano saw this he replied, “They got that screen up there flashing 30 seconds, like I care about that screen. I got tumors all over my body and I’m worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds.”

What happens when you have thoughts flashing in your mind saying that you only have a day, a week, or a month left or else?

Do you get impatient and desperate…

Or

Do you reach deep inside of yourself and come up with that inspiring idea that starts you down the path to turning your life around?

After Jim Valvano was “given only 30 more seconds”, he went on to speak for another 4 minutes. And closed by saying…

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind. It cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all.”

Think about this as it relates to any challenge in your life.

Is this challenge touching your mind in the form of endless negative mind chatter? Is it touching your heart in the form of you getting down on yourself? Is it touching your soul by having you trying to live a life of “shoulds”, “have tos”, and “supposed tos?”

Because if it is, then you’ll feel like you’re running out of time.

However, as soon as you look at any challenge or difficult situation in your life as not being able to touch your mind, heart, and soul, the magnificence of who you are shines like a bright sunny day.

And all of a sudden the amount of time you have is endless.

In Jim Valvano’s case 30 seconds turned into 4 minutes. For you that day, week, or month that you feel you have left now turns into an unlimited amount of time.

So now the question is…

“What are you going to do with that time?” What is it that you’ve always wanted to do in your life but up until now haven’t accomplished?

Always remember this…

Time is always on your side. It’s never too late to get started. What may seem like the worst thing that could be happening in your life right now is actually a blessing in disguise.

And disguised in that blessing is a hidden order that is guiding you on your inspiring journey through life…and beyond.

Just know that whenever life seems like it’s tearing you down, be sure to remember those 4 famous words by Jimmy V…”Don’t ever give up.”

Because what happens as a result is that the world gets to see how special of a person you really are.

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