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‘A.C.T. On Your Priorities’
Life is fragile. We are here today, and soon gone. Let’s live as if there may not be a tomorrow and make every day and minute count.

I’m constantly reminded to live life to the fullest. Two years ago our family fought, and won, the cancer battle. We were reminded of how fragile life is, and to make every day count. This past Thanksgiving we were again reminded that life is precious, and sometimes, all too short.

This untimely death of a close friend put me into a whirlwind of emotions. I resolved once again, to make every day and minute count.

We received a call Friday morning informing us our close friend was suddenly killed in a plane crash. It was definitely unexpected news and proceeded to rock my world. He was only 49 years old, and was one of those guys we thought would live forever. He had a zest for life that constantly impacted others. You couldn’t think about Chuck without seeing his smile and mischievous grin. He could always be counted on for a joke and a laugh. He oozed life, and his attitude was contagious.

That evening when I got home from work, I gave my husband and son an extra long hug, thankful that I could. I told my teenagers for the next while I may hug them too much, or tell them I love them more often, but they would simply have to let me. They smiled and hugged me a little harder and longer. I’m so blessed to have such terrific teenagers and a loving husband.

This untimely death of a close friend put me into a whirlwind of emotions. I resolved once again, to make every day and minute count. I started thinking, "If I die tomorrow, would I have impacted people and be remembered like I wanted to be: living, laughing, loving and encouraging others?"

I started thinking about my life’s priorities and the things that bide for my time. There are so many things to do, places to go and people to see. It can be overwhelming. It’s not enough to simply think about what you consider your priorities. One must act on them.

If you say family and friends are important, but you spend every waking hour at work, or doing others things, your actions speak much louder than words. All too often I have heard people say, “I wish I would have spent more time with my family,” or “Why didn’t I do this or that when I had the chance?” These are the regrets I don’t want to have when I look back on my life, no matter how long or short it might be. Ask yourself, “Do the people who are important to me know they are important? Do they know my life’s priorities?”

A good place to start figuring out your priorities is to ask those closest to you. Their answers might surprise you. If you don’t like what you hear, or are not satisfied with the reply, make the necessary changes to make your priorities and these perceptions be what you want them to be.

Tim McGraw sings a song called, “Live Like You Were Dying.” It talks about the many things this man did after getting news he only had a short time to live. Make a list of things you’d like to do in your life. Big, small, do them all! We never know what tomorrow brings, or how much time we actually have on earth. Make that list; then act on it! My definition: Achieve Constantly Today.

To my friend, Shirley: We all know you, Scott, family and friends were high on Chuck’s priority list. Even though he is physically gone from this earth, his smile, laughter and practical jokes will live on forever in each of our hearts. He has inspired many to live each day to the fullest.

Diane Exner loves to encourage others in every area of life. She also likes to teach and encourage others to stress less and live more. Feel free to contact her at her website at

Originally published in City Light News, November 2008.




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