Onic Palandjian

CEO , Europa Aluminium

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What would you do if this were your last day?

We need to take calculated risks, but the inevitable could happen any-time.
This summer I had a catamaran accident that I describe at my TEDxYerevan "small country BIG BUSINESS" talk [http://bit.ly/TEDxBIG]

When I was fighting huge waves, my life didn't flash before my eyes. I was too busy calculating different options and possibilities that could get me to safety.
But here's what I did think about as a castaway :

1. I am everything and nothing - a tiny part of the universe.
2. Family and friends are the most important aspect of my life. Especially my children and wife
3. Every moment on this earth is a gift, and offers an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.
4. Life can end at any moment.
5. I have to live like I am immortal while thinking that I could die tomorrow

What would you do if this were your last day?

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    Oct 17 2011: Breathe
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    Oct 17 2011: I will make sure that I have donated every useful organ of my body; leaving the one which may cause my death.
  • Oct 17 2011: jump of the roof
    • Oct 17 2011: hheheh as an ingredient? or u wana get rid of it before its real time?.. lolz
      • Oct 17 2011: hehe.....ain't no GOD tellin me hw i'll go....i'll rather jump off the roof singing like sinatra..."iiiiiiiiiiii did it myyyyyyyyy wayyyyyyyyy" :p..... n its much more charming thn the predictable "i wd tell my loved ones hw much i love them" crap.....u r no buddha...u r life ws never ur life....atleast let ur death be.....who wd be more free?...bunch of cryin sentimental ppl [no offense senti ppl :p] or a free fallin man with no fears....death is the ultimate experience...Don't ruin it :)
        • Oct 17 2011: comon karan dont do this u r makin me serious in ....huh;)
      • Oct 17 2011: decide :p
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    Oct 17 2011: I would tell all my friends and family that I love them dearly. And I'd throw a big party all day long with all of them. The best food and the best drinks and Karaoke for everyone. And personally I would have pancakes for breakfast, chinese food for lunch and suchi and white wine for dinner, but I'd spend all that I have left for everyone to enjoy his favorite dish. I would leave just enough money for someone to bury me at the humblest funeral.
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    Oct 15 2011: Hmmm.....a convict who's execution was scheduled for tomorrow at sunrise would know,and so would someone planning their suicide. For me it is hard to imagine . It is a good thing most of us don't know the day and the hour. Surrender to the thought first, then try not to make a big fuss, whipping up all kinds of torments for those I love and care for. They would have enough to cope with finding me dead. I would want to spend as much time as possible with family in my familiar surroundings, letting them know that life is worth living no matter how short it may be, kiss them, hug them, then go to sleep. Making a video or writing last minute notes would be nice if I could find the strength to do it.
  • Oct 14 2011: I would make peace with myself..
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    Oct 14 2011: I would enjoy waking up with my wife and having breakfast, then make certain I have spoken to my daughters and best friend and write an email to friends and acquaintences about I know not what. Then, I would take care of any remaining wishes to contribute to humankind, such as responding to a TED question like this one. I would go to the fitness center, then come back home and pull Virginia buttonweed or work on one of my wife's flower beds.
    Phil
  • Oct 25 2011: I think I'd surrender my consciousness to death, and make peace with myself and the world around me.
  • Oct 17 2011: say sorry to anybody i hurt esp members of my family and say goodbye properly to my boys. spend time with them giving some last minute advice. write some letters maybe. prepare prepare for the next round :)
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    Oct 17 2011: Sky dive... and then spend the remaining time with my family.
  • Oct 17 2011: I would log on to Ted.com and see if any speaker might have an idea on how to extend the last day to possibly an extra week or two.
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    Oct 17 2011: I don't know about gathering loved ones around . . . way too sad. Think I might write notes to those I love then go for a walk in the woods.
    • Oct 17 2011: i dont think so ... any on knowing hes gona die in real l have the ability to just move a feet from his place...:(
  • Oct 17 2011: hmmmm will ask for forgiveness for all i did in ma past life and spend ma time with loved ones.. but i dont think so at the time of death i wil remember any thing except all i did in ma past life and n its return in life after death...
  • Oct 17 2011: IT WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER, OR NOT, I KNEW IT WAS MY LAST DAY. I ALREADY AM LOVING TO MY LOVED ONES AND IT IS TOO SHORT OF A TIME TO FULFILL MY UNFULFILLED DREAMS SO, THAT SAID; I WOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT MY DIABETES. I WOULD HAVE A RUBARB PIE FOR BREAKFAST, BANANA CREAM PIE FOR A SNACK AND STOP BY THE MALL TO BUY AND EAT A BIG BOX OF GODIVA TRUFFLES.FOR LUNCH, I WOULD EAT A GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE. LATER, AFTER A NICE NAP, I WOULD GO CRAZY IN THE HALLOWEEEN CANDY DISPLAY AT THE SUPERMARKET AND. ON THE WAY HOME. I WOULD STOP FOR ICECREAM. THEN I WOULD EAT AN APPLE PIE. HOPFULLY, WHEN THE END CAME I WOULD BE MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGH A BOX OF DONUTS. MAYBE, ALL OF THE SUGAR IS WHY IT WAS MY LAST DAY.
    • Oct 17 2011: ahhh but i am amused by ur nap hehe on death day u want a nap?...just kidding wish u long life with gud health..:)
  • Oct 17 2011: Smile knowing I was the best I could be...
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    Oct 17 2011: Pretty much what I did today
    • Oct 17 2011: and what u did today?...;)
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        Oct 17 2011: Well nothing exceptional which I think is the point: you don't need to be travelling around the world or spending all your money to be happy. And you should probably already be at peace with yourself and loved ones. I woke up, had sex with my boyfriend, made fresh juice from scratch, returned some boots that didn't fit, cleaned my house, went to the laboratory which was pleasantly empty since it was Sunday night and fiddled around with experiments/talked to you folks on TED :) I guess I'm a big proponent of just being present. I wouldn't really feel like I'd missed out on much if I died tomorrow, so I wouldn't do much differently if I knew that that was the case.

        Actually this is a funny topic because I watched Steve Job's talk about death being the greatest motivator on here just a couple days before he died, and it caused me to cancel my drinking/partying plans for the evening and spend 3 hours watching talks on TED because I really do enjoy them THAT much and figured that if it was my last day I'd want to be intelectually engaged...but I might be a bit of a nerd ;)
    • Oct 17 2011: so one of ur last msgs will be on Ted.com lol :p
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    Oct 15 2011: If I had, let's say a week, I'd probably go travel around the world with my closest friends (I think the most common answer people give), but since the time frame is much different, I think I'd go out with my friends, have a good time and then end off the day with family. I can't think of a better way to spend my time left if it's such a small time frame.
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    Oct 15 2011: I would run over to Jasmine Stewart's house & give her a big wet one! Then I'd dance the day away... Depressing right? lol.
  • Oct 15 2011: The same thing as every day : Speak only the truths I can explain, express the views and opinions I hold dearest, take what's owed to me, not take the B.S. I'm not deserving of, and people know that it's okay to disagree.
  • Oct 15 2011: I would tell everyone that I love them - I would share thier beauty with them. I would send 1000 books to publishers and insist they print them in 'rock' and then I'd have a great meal and several drinks with my family.
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    Oct 14 2011: Mmmm. Not enough time to make up for all past mistakes, achieve the many still remaining unfulfilled dreams, contact all my loved ones in a meaningful way, or sort out the messy process of wills and bequests...

    So, I'd have a glass of fresh hand squeezed orange juice and take a long walk in the woods near my home.
  • Oct 14 2011: When this question comes up people often talk about going skydiving or bungie jumping. Since its only a day I would spend every minute of it with my family, talking and laughing. The thing I would want most is for them to be happy and I would hope that I could ease their suffering.

    I don't want to die but I imagine that knowing I only had one day left would bring a feeling of relief and freedom. I would never have to update my Adobe Flash player again. All those little worries and annoyances in life would be irrelevant.

    I would probably also agonize over how to write a witty and inspiring Facebook status update. I'd like to leave this world knowing I put a smile on the faces of my friends and family.
  • Oct 14 2011: This question has been asked so much and so many great answers have been given.

    My favorite was when a husband said he would divorce his wife and then max out his credit cards buying her gifts. Once he died, creditors would have a difficult time collecting on his debts since he was dead and his wife would obviously have all the items he purchased.

    It may or may not work in reality but the I really liked the thought.
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    Oct 14 2011: I choose to die . I cannot decide when I am born but where I go to die
  • Oct 14 2011: I'm glad people usually make a positive change after a near death experience. However, I find thinking and imaging these scenarios quite destructive.

    In reality, people do the things they do out of love for other people such as work a certain job to give what their families need. Unfortunately, not everyone can do what they ideally like to do for themselves. Instead of thinking about the last day, how about thinking "what would I do for the rest of my days here?" "What will my friends and family do for the rest of their days when I am not here?".

    But to go along with the thread, probably have a cuddle, ride and groom a horse and eat krispy kreme donuts.
    (Lol the whole paragraph is a totally contradiction to itself, apologies.)
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    Oct 14 2011: If I knew I had only one day to live and I were able bodied and of sound mind... good grief. The tsunami of depression would make it difficult to function.
    I'd lay out a great feast, thank everyone I knew for being in my life and tell them I loved them (probably more than once). I might smoke some marijuana... no, I would definitely smoke some marijuana (at least at some point during that day). I'd take a walk outside. Pet some dogs. Watch a TED talk. Haha. Probably cry and fall to the ground. Maybe drink.
  • Oct 14 2011: Interesting topic !
    I was discussing the same question with some friends . I suggested that we better live every new day as the last day in our lives. They found the idea depressing !. But I still think it's the best way of living. We got to stop worrying about the future and regretting the past. We have to appreciate the moment.
    I asked this question to my friends and family and I got only one answer, We will spend that day praying to Allah ( God). They are Muslims like me but we have different concepts or way of understanding our religion.

    What I know that prophet Mohammed once said “If you have a plant in your hand and you can see the judgment day approaching, even then, without any further delay, you should sow/put the plant in the earth '
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      Oct 14 2011: Wouldn't that get tiring? If it didn't, I wonder how one would deal with the probable upset in one's social life. Similar to winning 100 million dollars, your circle of friends would quake or topple. Living life with such fervor may be more easily accomplished if one's current life somewhat resembles a life filled with freedom, devoid of fear, supported by good health and fair winds.