Eugene O’Kelly, at the age of 53, was on top of the world. He was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He had a penthouse apartment, two vacation homes, a yacht, a an abundance of money, a lovely wife and two daughters. He had a photo of the place he planned to retire in Arizona.

Then one day he was diagnosed with late stage brain cancer and was given 100 days to live. In his book, Chasing Daylight, he writes about trying to make those 100 days the best 100 days of his life. He left us with a gift, an invaluable lesson that we might apply to our last 1,000 days, or even 15,000 days. It’s about presence. O’Kelly said that as he crossed the days off of his calendar, he began to wonder about commitment. What is commitment? He concluded,

“It’s not about time, it’s about depth. It’s about effort. It’s about wanting to be in a certain place and not somewhere else. . . . Commitment is measured not by the time one is willing to give up, but by the energy one wants to put in – by how present one is.”

Commitment is presence.

Commitment is attention.

Where are you now?  Are you fully present?  Are you giving 100% of your attention to what’s going on in front of you, or are you splitting your attention between people, technology, daydreams, background music, news, and more?

How would the experience of people who are dealing with you today be different if you were fully committed?  Fully present?

— Gregg Krech, ToDo Institute

Author Bio

Gregg Krech

Gregg Krech Author, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-reflection (2002)| Author, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness (2004, 2011)| Author, A Finger Pointing to the Moon (2000)| Editor, Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living (1993-Present)| Director, ToDo Institute (Vermont) (1992-Pr......

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