Life advice inspired by a COVID-19 patient, in a 3-minute read


His response was, “You only live once.”

The next day he got on a cruise ship and shortly after, he contracted the coronavirus and so did his wife. It felt like bad luck and it really messed with me. He’s such a good guy and we always have a laugh together. Even when I feel off at work, he lights me up.

The virus was not kind to him and as a result, I couldn’t speak to him. A month passed and just yesterday I got to speak with him, finally.

I wanted to know how he was and wasn’t prepared for what he would tell me. He came really close to dying. After he got sick his temperature went through the roof and he was rushed to the emergency room. While at the hospital, his situation got worse and the doctors wanted to put him on a defibrillator, which he says is the last mile of the battle. For some strange reason, he said no to the defibrillator because he felt like it was a death wish.

Thankfully, he got better after a few days and could go home where he isolated from his two children. On the phone to him it was clear that he was still feeling the after-effects. He was coughing a lot and his voice sounded different.

When he goes for walks, he told me that he becomes short of breath after a short distance. Nobody knows whether what he is still experiencing will be ongoing. There is a chance his lungs are permanently damaged but it will be some time until he knows for sure.

In the meantime, he’s been given a second chance at life. Talking to him made me realize how quickly life can be taken away from us. You could be sitting next to someone today at work and take them for granted, and then tomorrow they could be gone. You could be gone too.

His story inspired me to think about what the best, simple life advice is to consider. Here is the result.

  1. You have right now and that is all. The future is not guaranteed.
  2. Spending your time being angry at people is robbing you of the energy you could be using to enjoy your life.
  3. Your family will make mistakes but it’s up to you whether you forgive them.
  4. Love fixes most problems.
  5. Losing your job is perhaps the career shock you need. The next career will be even better.
  6. Look after your body because you only get one.
  7. Healthy food gives you energy and it can taste as good, if not better, than food you know is bad for you.
  8. Help people achieve the same goals you have already achieved.
  9. Become a teacher in whatever skill you have mastered and feel the fulfillment.
  10. Take your time because then you will enjoy what you’re doing.
  11. People will tell you what you can’t do, so it’s up to you to give yourself permission and do it anyway.
  12. Money buys you time to be less stressed and do any work you choose.
  13. Possessions create stress. Have fewer possessions than your wants tell you that you must have.
  14. Sleep on it if you’re still not sure.
  15. Try not to argue when you’re tired.
  16. Sleep longer on the weekend.
  17. Take a look back at your life once in a while.
  18. The need to chase goals can be replaced by the joy of helping people reach theirs.
  19. Write your thoughts down. If you want to be really bold, publish your thoughts online for the benefit of others.
  20. You’re never broken; you just need to hit the reset button.
  21. People will come and go from your life as you need what they have to teach you.
  22. Leave a few bread crumbs from your life on the internet for future generations to find.
  23. Have more coffees with the person sitting next to you at work because you never know what the future holds, and you’ll both be better for it.

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