My first cigarette was sometime in 1998. I smoked it for a part in an acting class. My last cigarette was in 2014.
I got my first client after going full-time entrepreneur on March 1, 2011. The client was a Registered Investment Advisor. My last day running that agency was Dec 31, 2017.
My mother passed away last year, and in the 12-months prior, she had stopped talking much. I don’t quite know when I had my last conversation with her. Whenever I did, I certainly didn’t know it was our last. I used to be irritated many of our talks, but when they were gone, I wished for one more.
We all have a lot of firsts, and a lot of lasts. It’s rare to recognize when what we’re doing, or the experience we’re having, may be the last time.
I’m keenly tuned to this right now as my daughter just turned nine months, and I see and experience firsts and lasts all the time.
When I look back on my successes or failures as an entrepreneur, whether it’s the times I thought I’d lose everything, the rare occasions where I had to fire a client, or the late nights where I gave it everything I had to get the job done, all I see are a collection of memories as tangible as vapor yet still part of my permanent record.
Our thoughts and beliefs drive our actions. Our actions become our past. Whatever you do for a living, one day, you will have a last day at work. It may be the last day at a particular company or, one day, of your entire career. How will you look back at that last time, and will you wish that you did something differently along the way?
Make it the last time
While many of our firsts and lasts are unexpected, there are plenty still under our control.
You can decide that this will be…
- the first time I take control of my own schedule
- the last time I ever put up with a client like THAT again
- the first time I stand up for myself or others in those meetings
- the last time I undervalue my time ever again
First times and last times are eventful, but they don’t have to always be random. Your life and career are yours and yours alone. You may not be able to alter the external pressures of your life, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to do something for the first or last time.
Keep an eye out, and don’t make it the last time you do.