Last night, I saw a dream. The kind of deep-sleep dream that makes you forget you’re dreaming. The kind where you feel the emotions and see the colors, where you believe it’s real.

So, here’s what it looked like:

I saw myself waiting for my turn at a doctor’s clinic, pretty happy with my life, writing something on my phone. That’s what I usually do when I’m waiting. I write.

At that moment, I had no clue why I was visiting a doctor because I felt completely fine and healthy. You know, that’s the thing with dreams, there’s no past or the future. All you see is the present and you have to make sense of it, if you will.

After the brief wait, I was summoned to the doctor’s cabin. The doctor was alone and sitting on a chair right in front of the couch. This was clearly not my first visit and I soon figured that I was there to collect my test reports.

She directed me to sit on the couch and when I did, she looked at me sympathetically. Now, that is one look I do not want anyone to give me, ever. I hate sympathy, whether I offer it to someone or someone offers it to me. Sympathy or pity symbolizes helplessness, as if someone has no control over something that’s happening to them. I hate to be a witness to it.

After a minute’s silence, she said, “The results are positive”. By now, I realized that this is serious and although I had a thousand questions running through my mind, I asked the one that mattered the most, “Does that mean I’m going to die?” And the answer came in the form of a soft nod.

I was shattered from inside, but was surprisingly calm and composed as the pictures of all the people I loved crossed my mind. My vision was turning black slowly but steadily, and I had no clue if I’d make it to home. I still managed to ask, “How much time?” She said, “A week or a little more than that”.

A week? All I had was a week to finish off the things I’d started, to spend more time with my family and friends, to tell them how much I love them, to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, to start a project I’m passionate about, to explain my financial details to my family, to come to terms with the fact that I would be dead in a week’s time, to cry, to laugh, to live.

Seven days, 168 hours was all I had. And by the time I reached home, I’d already lose one hour.

Then I heard some sound, it was my mum’s voice. I woke up. From my dream. Into reality. I woke up to the fact that life is so unpredictable. That moment, I felt relief and gratitude like I’d never felt before.

That very instant, I also learned the most important life lesson.

Life is not forever. You will die, sooner or later!

You could be fit and healthy, but you could die the next moment. That’s how vulnerable our life is. We always tend to think of time as an abundant gift. We think we have lots of it, in the form of years, months, days, and hours, to do the things we want to. But, it’s high time we realize we don’t.

Do not live your life like you have many. You don’t. There’s just one and this is it!

We all have a certain fixed number of hours, different for each one of us. Every hour we waste is precious and could be spent in doing something that matters. Whether you love, help, be kind to others, or bring a smile to someone’s face, it doesn’t matter.

Let every action of yours have a meaning, a purpose!

I know there are innumerable pieces written about this subject, still they were not enough to convince me to leave my old ways to truly start “living”. To make me understand that this moment, when you can breathe, walk, talk, and do the things you want to, may not be there tomorrow.

So, wake up from your dreams friends.

Do not put aside the things you want to do, for the last week of your life.