The Day Before You Die – Why Doing What Really Matters is So Important: Paddy Ney (Transcript)

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I would never forget that moment.

Well, as you can see, I’m still here. I made it out alive. A year later, my daughter Zofia was born. Two years later, I married the love of my life, Maja. Three years later, we are having our second kid. So, we’ve been busy.

And we’re moving house. And because of all those beautiful things that happened from that moment, when people ask me if I would do anything differently, if I wouldn’t go to the pub, I actually say no. There’s no way in hell I would ever exchange that experience for any one, because so many beautiful things have happened to me since then.

So many beautiful things.

And I’m so very, very glad to be alive, I can’t tell you. And I went home, I saw the sky again, I saw the colors again, I saw the sounds of life again, and slowly but surely, that feeling of certainty, that feeling of truth, just left me. It just faded into the background.

And I went back to the to-do list, I went back to the emails, I went back to work, I went back to filming.

I recorded a film about the cavalry captain Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to go into Auschwitz. I got 95 million views on Facebook. Again, thousands of people writing to me, telling me how wonderful I was, telling me how wonderful the film was.

But constantly, in the back of my mind, this guilt – because I had that moment of absolute clarity and absolute precision and I knew that I wasn’t living up to that particular moment.

Then, one day, I met a man called Peter. And what Peter and all the other coaches who I’ve worked with since that incident have helped me to understand is that the reason why I was making these films was mostly driven by my need for significance, my need to feel wanted, my need to feel valued.

And Peter helped me to understand, in just one meeting, that I didn’t need any of that, that didn’t need to guide me, that didn’t need to drive me. That wasn’t the reason I was fighting so hard every day, working so hard to produce these films.

The experience that I’d gone through had given me a north star. It had given me a true purpose. And I only needed to be faithful to that purpose to live my life in a better way.

So now, the films that I make, they have to have a higher intent. They have to, in some way, help other people to improve and strengthen their connections, their relationships and just create love.

And if I can only do that one thing, just that tone thing, then when I come to the end of my days again and I ask myself the question, “Was it worth it?”, this time, I hope the answer will be yes.

What would you think about the day before you die?

I want everybody in the room now to take a private moment and just ask themselves that very difficult question.

Here’s the good news, my friends. You already know the answer to that question. The only question remaining is: are you ready to listen to that answer?

Thank you very much.

 

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