That Moment Where the World Stops


world stops

“Why are you not being everything you can be right now?” – Gabrielle Bouliane

What do you do when your world shatters?

Life’s short.

I’ve had enough loss in my life to always remind me you never know how much time you have to make the most of what you’ve got.

I follow the advice of one of my mentors, living each day as if it’s my last, but planning to live 100 years.

I never let fear or resistance get in the way.

It’s a path of giving my best where I have my best to give, living my values, following my growth, and creating the experiences I want in my life.

Chase Dreams But Enjoy the Process

I chase my dreams, but I enjoy the process. I share what I learn along the way and I help lift others up.  Maybe that star is just out of my reach, but, hey, if you stand on my shoulders, maybe you can reach yours, and that’s a win, too.

I don’t live with regrets.  I know we don’t regret the things in life we do, it’s the things we didn’t.  Now and then I use my rocking chair test to remind myself what’s important.  I imagine my future self looking back — “What do I wish I would have done, while I could?”

Be YOUR Best

I always told myself don’t be “the has been who never was”, but I also follow my Mom’s advice, which happens to be the same as John Wooden, Bruce Lee, and my other heroes:

“Be YOUR best.”

It’s not being THE best in the world.  It’s being YOUR best, in YOUR world.  And that’s a big difference.  Living your best is the simplest success I know.

Life’s Short, Then You Die, So Live Fully While You Can

I don’t need anymore reminders of how short life is, or what’s important, or how to live life to the fullest.  I’ve had plenty of times in my life where the world stops … or where somebody in my life had their world come to a sudden stop.  If you’ve ever had those moments, you know how they change you.  With your new lease on life, an attitude of gratitude takes on new meaning, and so does your life.

Gabrielle Bouliane on “That Moment Where the World Stops”

If you know what that moment is like where the world stops, you’ll relate to this video.  If you’re waiting for your life to change, or if you’re waiting to be everything you can be, this might be just the video you need to see.  It’s a video by Gabrielle Bouliane, who died not long after sharing her message.

Gabrielle has so many powerful messages, but this is my key take away:

“You get this one moment to regret all the things you said you’d do but never did, and then it’s over. 

You die or you live. 

If you live, the look in your eyes is never the same.”

Update: For some people the embedded video isn’t working, so here is the direct link to the video – Gabrielle Bouliane (Austin Poetry Slam) on YouTube.


  1. Hey J.D.

    I love this video, I recently included it on my blog as well. Beautiful and a wonderful message.

    I try not to be morbid about it, but I often do think about my own mortality. Every day, there’s some chance that it really is my last day. Like so many others, probably including yourself, losing others close to me has shown me how quickly and suddenly it can all end.

    Once I got past the fear of that though, it really made me a better person because of it. That realization has enabled me to, I hope, make the tough choices sooner, to be who I want to be, sooner – and to what is right and what I must do now rather than later.

  2. Hi JD,

    The advice your mentor gave you is exactly like the advice my father has given me. His version goes like this: live each day as if you will die tomorrow but plan like you will live forever.

    Anyway, good for you for having the philosophy that you do. Many people live with regret. It is something that I have never understood because regret really does nothing and just keeps a person stuck.

    All we can do is learn from our experiences, move ahead and make the most out of what we have. And most definitely be our best!

  3. Hi JD .. I love that quote .. live today as if it’s your last – but plan to live 100 years … I’m perhaps living the other way round at the moment .. giving my mother as much as I can to her for her last days – and they’re adding up .. over 1,150 now – but the gains I’ve had, and the sagas I have to tell, the lessons I’ve learnt, and now – it goes on .. but my mother has been absolutely indomitable in her resoluteness to not cause a problem = faith … it is a lesson for all: one day I’ll tell it. My mother definitely has been at her best through these strokes and occasional illness or major challenges .. but she loves the connections I’ve made with the blog .. and that pleases her – that I love what I do .. Have a good Easter break .. Hilary

    PS – Gabrielle’s song is poignant .. thank you

  4. J.D., thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I appreciate your powerful post and the touching video sharing Gabrielle’s message. Thank you especially for your words, “With your new lease on life, an attitude of gratitude takes on new meaning, and so does your life.” Yes, the sheer wonder and excitement of being alive comes alive in us, and we forever transformed.

    What are we waiting for? It’s a question so many of us answer with so many lame excuses. Yet each new day of our life is the first day of the rest of our life. We can start anew right where we are, and be all that we are right now. Because this new day, this now, is what we have. Why not make it the best we have, because it may be all we have to express the best of ourselves?

    Thank you so much for your stirring reminder of what really matters, J.D. From the mountains of Japan, evening greetings to you – Catrien Ross.

  5. Two sentences that stood out for me in this post are

    “I follow the advice of one of my mentors, living each day as if it’s my last, but planning to live 100 years.”


    “It’s not being THE best in the world. It’s being YOUR best, in YOUR world.”

    I think this is the best advice for a meaningful life that one can ever get. Living the life of no regrets and the life of meaning is the best life in my understanding. I think we all should do OUR best to live these lives because if everybody is the best for him/herself then the world would be a better place too.

  6. J.D. I like YOUR best. Your blog is always a place of positive, enthusiastic, uplifting CONCRETE ways to make things happen.

    And your Rule Of Three — simple, but bang on, I’ve been putting it into action for a couple weeks. Too good to be true. In fact, one of the new songs I’m working on is “Keepin’ It Simple” and I’m pretty sure your Rule Of Three will be worked into it somehow! How can it not??

    This is the 3rd time I’ve seen this video now and it’s impact seems to deepen each time. Thanks for sharing it!!


  7. This reminds me of a couple of different quotes. There is that Eminem classic:

    You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
    You own it, you better never let it go
    You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
    This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

    Which is part of his Oscar-winning song from “8 Mile.” It is rather empowering in a way to have that moment and own it. While the other pearl I remember is from Ferris Bueller:

    Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

    I’ll admit that both are from movies, but sometimes this is where lines like these can be said in such a way that they are adopted in some ways. I’m surprised that I don’t come up with a “What About Bob?” line to this as there was a little bit in that movie about one character being afraid of death, but somehow it doesn’t have the same punch as these lines.

    Another view to take on some of us is that we can either wonder if we’ve touched lives or we can go out and know we touched lives. Getting up and out there is an important take away to my mind as sometimes I will overthink things, course Intellection is one of my strengths.

  8. That last quote is powerful! The whole post is, actually.

    I too have long had as my personal mottos: I want to live every day of my life.

    And: I want to die young at a very old age.

    Your rocking chair exercise is one I’ve written and spoken to groups about: When you’re 99 and looking back, what is it you will want to have done?

    I find all of these approaches life-sustaining. Thanks for writing this post, J.D. We need daily cups of reminder……

  9. Hi J.D., thank you for writing this post. It seems you’ve received some great advice that will surely inspire you to be your best everyday.

    I love the question by Gabrielle that opens this post because I’ve found that I’m focusing more on being rather than doing. Not to say I don’t do. I do plenty in my professional and personal life. But the being part often gets neglected and I’m really glad I’ve learned to pay attention to it.

    Being happy. Being kind. Being interested. Being peaceful. Being in love with life. Being able to spread joy. These are what I strive for in order to be my best.

  10. JD, your blog intrigued me and I was hesitant to write this but I thought of it again so I will anyway. I am a heart-centered person so I love stories, I’d love to hear more about a few from your life. I really see you as a life mentor role for many travelers and loyal readers too and am curious what stirs your heart, from any of your life experiences. I guess I’m throwing out a challenge for you 😉 have a great night ~Jenn

  11. Folks think it is all in your heart…nope LIVER

    Dr. Joel Fuhrman and I are on a date weekend 🙂 hope it works – I am not just going for healing but curing.

  12. Hi J.D.

    Such a powerful and moving post.

    If life didn’t stop me in the past, I wouldn’t have the depth of gratitude and meaning in my life today. I’ve acknowledged the lesson in experiencing loss and it minimizes potential hurdles to moving forward.

    Thank you for sharing your lessons and lifting others.

  13. Hi J.D.
    Powerful video. This is my first time seeing it and I can appreciate her passion. I had a friend pass away last September, less than a week after I visited him at the Hospice. It was a powerful time to be with him. He had settled into his belief about where he was going and was at peace with it.

  14. JD,
    you touch me hard with this post. Thanks for being such a great mentor for years…

  15. J.D.,
    I have recently included this video on my site, as well. The message that Gabrielle shares is one that is so important to hear. And that she shares this, knowing that her days were numbered…wow. Really, that’s what added such an extra punch to this video, for me. She speaks her truth from a place very much of being there. And in that, I see even more clearly how life is so much what we make it.

  16. @ Sid

    It’s that ever-challenging balance that today is both the first day of the rest of your life and it could very well be your last. Whenever I need a quick lift, that quick thought does it for me.

    @ Nadia

    I seriously like that *forever* twist and I’ll update the version in my head to match it.

    You just put the nail in the coffin on regret — “it does nothing and keeps a person stuck”!

    @ Hilary

    I look forword to your stories — I know you have a lot to share. Nothing teaches like experience.

    To know the worst in our lives is to know the best in our lives, and I think the best thing we can do with the worst, is to use it to celebrate our best.

    @ Catrien

    It’s always great to have you stop by and I enjoy the breath of fresh air from Japan that you bring.

    In a world of overload and a world of endless choices, I’m a fan of bubbling up what matters and spending more of my time on just that.

  17. @ Anastasiya

    “… if everybody is the best for him/herself then the world would be a better place too” … very well said.

    @ Jannie

    Hey, I’m just getting the party started. There is MUCH more to come. Those darn wings of mine still need training wheels when I spread them.

    Keeping it Simple and the Rule of 3 … perfect together 🙂

    It’s amazing how stories, voice, and visual can really amplify a message. Each time I watch the video, it moves me.

    @ Louisa

    If ever there was somebody who nailed the message, “Don’t wait” … it’s Gabrielle.

    @ JB

    I so want a t-shirt with that Eminem quote!

    I forgot about good ol’ Ferris … that is a classic.

    I think I’m going to have to watch What About Bob? again.

  18. @ Barb

    You have the perfect way with words … I now have “I want to live every day of my life” and “I want to die young at a very old age” etched in my mind.

    @ Belinda

    Being in love with life is a gem of wisdom that wraps up so much … and perfectly expresses, how to make the most of what you’ve got.

    @ Jenn

    I like the way you put it — “heart-centered.”

    I see your challenge and I’ll work it in more going forward.

    So many things stir my heart, but mostly it’s the Underdog … and we’re all underdogs at some point or some situation in our life.

    @ Patricia

    … and endocrine systems 🙂

    Dr. Fuhrman is the man!

  19. @ Kim

    “it minimizes potential hurdles to moving forward” … I like how you’ve turned loss into an empowering lesson.

    @ Davina

    Her passion is powerful … that’s what struck me. She had something to say and I wanted to listen.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. I’m glad that your friend was at peace.

    @ Dror

    Thank you Dror. It’s great to know that what I share helps in some way.

    @ Lance

    Speaking the truth from where you are, adds that element of actions speak louder than words.

  20. Not sure how I missed this one – wow, what a video! And what a post to accompany it! The True You was shining through it. Beautiful and very moving.

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