The time frame of our human existence matters. And since it's so short, I'm living in a way that is in sync with that brevity. In other words, life's shortness has me focusing on what's important NOW.
They say that one of the most valuable things about having a pet is that they remind us of our mortality. Think of dogs' seven years for every one of ours. We see our beloved dogs so rapidly heading into the end of their lives, their muzzles graying, sleeping longer, their gaits shortening, and it reminds us that the same fate awaits us.
So yeah, I'm human. I want all kinds of things humans want. Security, success, companionship, esteem of others--these are all things I want. But when I think in terms of my imminent mortality (and by that I mean even if I live another 100 years!), I live differently. I start asking myself the question: "What's really important?" I say to myself, "If I had a terminal disease, would I be doing this or that, or worrying about this or that?"
Isn't that the truth? You live your life chasing after all these things that seem so incredibly important, and then you get a test back from your doctor confirming the worst. Then your life changes on a dime. You have different values. You spend your time differently. You waste no time. You do what has the deepest meaning. You take the chances you were too busy or afraid to take before. You seek out love and friendship. You seek what has meaning and what lasts.
So as far as I'm concerned, that's the key--live right this moment as if you've got that bad diagnosis. Value what truly has value right now.