Adventures in Awesome Living

by Sunil Bali, Chief Energy Officer, 04-09-11

I recently met an oncologist who specialises in the provision of palliative care.

I remarked that dealing with dying people must be very draining. To my surprise he replied, "Dealing with the dying is wonderfully life affirming, most of them live life to the absolute maximum and have more fun in their last few months then they have done in all their previous years put together. It constantly reminds me to try new things and take a few more risks."

In the experience of his team of doctors and nurses the Top 4 regrets of the dying are:

1) I could have achieved more

2) I should have taken more risks

3) I should have spent more time with the people I love

4) I didn’t do work that I really wanted to do

My exchange with the oncologist sparked a lively debate later that evening with some friends, when I asked the following question: "If you could go back in time to visit your younger self what advice would you give?"

Here is a list of 11 things that we came up with:

1) Life is so much easier when you stop trying to be cool and impress others and simply do more of who you really are – in my case a Kevin Keegan perm in the 70′s and wearing Farah slacks which were so tight that self-castration was a distinct possibility every time I tried to sit down. What? You mean I’m not alone? You’ve had such wardrobe malfunctions too?

2) Trying to be something you’re not is not sexy. Be you. That’s when you’re beautiful.

3) You don’t need a certain number of friends just a number of friends that you can be certain of.

4) Spend more time with people who increase your energy and make you smile and stay away from people that drain you of energy and make your heart sink.

5) It doesn’t matter how badly your heart has been broken, the world will not wait for you to wallow in grief and self-pity and the sun will not stop from shining – 15 years ago I was dumped 2 weeks before I was due to get married and thought I was going to die, only to get married 4 years later and have 11 great years of marriage – and counting – with 2 wonderful kids.

6) One of the best feelings in the world is to make a difference by doing the work that you love.

7) If you want something you’ve never had, you have to get out your comfort zones and do something you’ve never done.

8) If you want love, give love. If you want money, give value. It’s really that simple.

9) Acquiring knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re growing and developing. Personal growth happens when you apply what you know and it changes your life.

10) You’re never too old to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. I didn’t become a professional speaker and author until the age of 43.

11) There is only one way to learn, and that’s through taking action. Trying to learn without doing is like trying to lose weight by watching someone else exercise. It’s just not going to work.


Nadine Stair has beautifully captured her feelings on this subject in a poem:

I’d Pick More Daisies

If I had my life to live over,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
and watch more sunsets.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who lives
sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve have had my moments
And if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
Instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle and a

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds and
I would pick more daisies.

Written by Nadine Stair, aged 85

…..What advice would you give to your younger self? I’d love to know.



We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing
– George Bernard Shaw

Life expands or diminishes in proportion to ones courage
– Anais Nin

We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?
– Steve Jobs

You can have everything in life if you can just help others to get what they want
– Zig Ziglar



A blonde walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan officer. She says she’s going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for the loan, so the blonde hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce. The car is parked on the street in front of the bank, she has the title and everything checks out. The bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.

The bank’s president and its officers all enjoy a good laugh at the blonde for using a $250,000 Rolls as collateral against a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then proceeds to drive the Rolls into the bank’s underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the blonde returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41. The loan officer says, "Miss, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The blonde replies, "Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return?"

……And now you know a ‘smart blonde’ joke.


To your success,