Don't Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last | Leana Delle | TEDxMountainViewCollege

  • Published on Jan 10, 2017
  • In this fast-paced world filled with high expectations and a wealth of distractions, is it really practical or realistic to “live each day as though it’s your last?” This talk will explore the age-old advice, challenge its wisdom and argue for a better alternative - one that may actually be more motivating.

    Leanne Delle is an RN, speaker, podcast co-host and author of the Amazon Bestselling novel "Control Switch." She completed her studies in creative writing at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she is an alumna of their New York seminar. Originally from Canada, she became an American citizen in 2009 and is proud to write and stack her books permanently in The Big D.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 130

  • Faylyn Hillier
    Faylyn Hillier 23 hours ago +1

    I feel like someday I will look back on this as the thing that changed my life for the better.

  • Simon Bento
    Simon Bento 2 days ago

    What a fantastic speaker and great message!

  • ping chen
    ping chen 2 days ago +3

    last or first, neither is to be taken too literally! its about having clarity about the preciousness and purpose of life, or keeping fresh eyes and being curious...good point in both. however, i dont think neither is actually enough for awakening to clarity. sorry to say this, but i think its a bit too dramatic , her “maxing out credit cards , flirting with french guys”. good way to make a speech, but sincerely mean it? of cos last stage cancer patient arent able to accomplish any big things, same as none of the newborn babies have any idea how to take a step! come on now..

  • Deborah COnabree
    Deborah COnabree 4 days ago +3

    Thank you so much for your perspective. I have been trying to live my life as if its my last day and it really is very depressing, nothing on the agenda seems meaningful enough. It creates a terrible sense of dis everything. So thanks so much. You ve helped me.

  • Teal Malia
    Teal Malia 4 days ago +2

    live as if it's your last day isn;t practical for most, bc most are living on autopilot. the depression that Leana's friend had for 180 days was almost like a purging. afterwards, she started really living, more than before the diagnosis.

  • Nick King
    Nick King 4 days ago +1

    It is not my first day. I did not come down in the last shower. I know stuff! Where did all that come from? All my past efforts...
    Lying to myself does not seem very effective to me.

  • Nick King
    Nick King 4 days ago

    It is good to question and test your relationship to reality.

  • Nick King
    Nick King 4 days ago

    Let's play make-believe!

  • Go Jump
    Go Jump 5 days ago

    Great TedTalk presentation. Can’t help but laugh that there’s a student in the audience at 13:15 who appears to be multitasking, perhaps studying? Lol

  • Cali Dreams
    Cali Dreams 5 days ago

    Live everyday like it’s the first or last. Both have the same meaning. Each day is a gift so don’t take it for granted. Treasure and make each day the best it can possibly be. The past is already gone, the future unknown, so the most important is the present moment. It doesn’t mean you forget the past or not plan for the future, it means the journey may be more important than the destination.

  • Timothy Smith
    Timothy Smith 6 days ago +2

    Nice! This is what is referred to in Zen as "beginner's mind", or "shoshin" in Japanese.

  • Heidi Mckerihan
    Heidi Mckerihan 6 days ago +1

    Beautiful outstanding idea! Anything that is the beginning, is surely going to be much more exciting than. ...The last! Wonderful lady for giving out a life changing thought! Love it!

  • Christina Bernat
    Christina Bernat 6 days ago +8

    Actually a brilliant talk. Makes so much sense - refreshing!

  • Velma Hamberlin
    Velma Hamberlin 6 days ago +1

    Live each day like it's your first

    PAULNE UGBIYOBO 8 days ago +1

    I agree with starting afresh everyday

    PAULNE UGBIYOBO 8 days ago

    You can change a doctor's diagnosis with prayers and your decrees read the bible Jesus is the answer.

    PAULNE UGBIYOBO 8 days ago +1

    Anyone saved and heaven bound will say live everyday as your last. The fear comes from not knowing where you will end read the bible.

  • MegaSkills9
    MegaSkills9 8 days ago +1

    The expression only means "Enjoy each day and don't miss an opportunity to do something great." In other words "Don't be afraid to do something that you would finally do, if you only had a day left to live." Nobody actually lives that way 100%. Planning for short term as well as long term things is part of every persons daily life. The old saying is not meant to take so literally.

  • bowaconstricta
    bowaconstricta 10 days ago +2

    I find it amusing some in the comment section saying they've always disliked the expression "Live each day as though it were your last, saying it's a cliché. Wile I agree, all this nice lady's basically saying is "Today is the first day, of the rest of my life..." hmmm now where have I heard that before ? ;-)

  • Jim Simpson
    Jim Simpson 11 days ago +2

    Live each day as if it was your first, not your last. I wish I could give this lady a million thumbs up.

  • Nickel Chrome
    Nickel Chrome 14 days ago

    Life is short, especially at the end.

  • Kenny Ethan Jones
    Kenny Ethan Jones 15 days ago +2

    It crazy what a change of perspective can help you achieve, clarity.

  • Manuel Garcia
    Manuel Garcia 16 days ago

    Lazy! 😂

  • Bancroft Boreland
    Bancroft Boreland 17 days ago +1

    Thank you Leana. Very interesting talk. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

  • Joyce Ma
    Joyce Ma 19 days ago

    great talk

  • cristobal cardenas valenzuela

    i'd like that philosophy ;)

  • Alex Bratu
    Alex Bratu 19 days ago +1

    I am really glad that i found this in such harsh times. Your warmth touched me and my mum. Thank you !

  • I.P. Knightly
    I.P. Knightly 19 days ago +7

    The doctor gave me 6 months to live. I told him I couldn't afford the bill so he gave me a year.

  • saso 10
    saso 10 21 day ago

    That is why talks sourcing from TEDx with an X h (as opposed to TED) have no value.

  • Hui Lin
    Hui Lin 22 days ago +5

    Wow, she seems like a genuinely good person.

  • lorrane
    lorrane 22 days ago +3

    I thank you for this beautiful talk.

    • Plumpest Pigeon
      Plumpest Pigeon 19 days ago

      +Author Leana Delle Yes, thankyou. You voiced my feelings. I felt like everywhere I turned people were cautioning "Live as if it's your last" and it only made me feel anxiety and discontentment. Your positive approach suits me, and thank you for sharing the experience of your dear friend.

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 22 days ago +1

      You're more than welcome.

  • jackie sauriol
    jackie sauriol 23 days ago +5

    One of the most enjoyable speakers I have seen on Ted talks- Ms. Delle is inspiring in many ways!

  • Don Spates
    Don Spates 25 days ago +1

    i have a sister dead at fifty. i live each day as if it is my last.

    • Jim Simpson
      Jim Simpson 10 days ago

      Sorry. That is completely understandable. Do what is best for you.

  • Georgina Smith
    Georgina Smith 25 days ago +2

    I think this is a great talk.....this hit home with me, I was going to comment about the fact most people have to work, do humdrum tasks....such is life - this has given me a different perspective on those. I try to live every day happily!

    • Jim Simpson
      Jim Simpson 10 days ago

      Even in a humdrum job paying a basic wage, there are always opportunities to see the best in people. And a good attitude can help you move on up the ladder maybe.

    • SongsByMama
      SongsByMama 23 days ago

      I love that. Thank you

    IRON60 BITCH 26 days ago

    This philosophy only works between the ages of 15 and 28 maybe 3035 at the most at that point if you’re not married if you have no children that’s great but you can’t purposely make your life short when other people rely on you

  • Laura Andrés
    Laura Andrés 27 days ago

    very clever

  • 999manman
    999manman 27 days ago +11

    Watch every RU-clip video as if it were your last!

  • Yose Martin
    Yose Martin 27 days ago +5

    Great and insightful ... live like you're gonna live 1000 years ... grateful is the key

  • lisa sommerlad
    lisa sommerlad 27 days ago +5

    Live each day as if it were your last: lie in a hospital bed and call your relatives.

  • belgian Girl
    belgian Girl 28 days ago

    You are an awesome woman and speaker! Your talk was so inspiring I’m actually looking forward to waking up tomorrow! Thank you!

  • frank facts
    frank facts 28 days ago +4

    it means live it like it's your last chance to do some good or get something done

    • Jim Simpson
      Jim Simpson 10 days ago

      Ah yes, get something done. Now, that project I was going to start last week/last year/forty years ago....

  • Sammy Miller
    Sammy Miller 28 days ago

    Hear, hear.

  • oceanpoet1
    oceanpoet1 28 days ago +18

    This is without a doubt the BEST TEDtalk I have ever watched. I have always rejected that "last day" quote!!! Bravo to this incredible speaker

    • bowaconstricta
      bowaconstricta 10 days ago

      So today, is the first day, of the rest of your life? ;-) hope you have a good one

    • oceanpoet1
      oceanpoet1 22 days ago

      +Dan dan thank you

    • Dan dan
      Dan dan 22 days ago +3

      This happens when you think for yourself instead of being prepared to swallow all the cliche's everyone else is throwing at you from all directions. Live your life as you see fit not how you're told to.... And never go to work if possible LOL.

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 28 days ago +2

      Thank you, oceanpoet1!

  • William Navarre
    William Navarre 28 days ago +1

    Well technically you could follow his advice. Say no a few days in a row, so make a change: stop doing that. :-)

  • Mightbe Sherwood
    Mightbe Sherwood 28 days ago


  • Ww Lib
    Ww Lib 29 days ago

    You are loved by the Creator of Heaven and Earth and He calls you into a personal restored relationship with Him, through His Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Jesus says, “I am the true Vine.” Here is an invitation for all. As we intertwine our lives with Him, we become one with him, we become stronger, we are nourished. We bear much fruit which is good to help others. When we cut ourselves off from the main vine, the One rooted, we become dry and dead branches and eventually our fruit withers. Only He can graft us back onto the true Vine. Call on His Name, the Name of Jesus, the One who has forgiven and redeemed you by His death on the Cross. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

    • Thomas Ray
      Thomas Ray 29 days ago +1

      I love those first ten words so much.

  • Soaad AB
    Soaad AB 29 days ago

    “Work for the affairs of the world as if you were going to live forever but work for the Hereafter as though you will die tomorrow.” [Prophet Mohammad)/ Darimi; Mishkat]

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 27 days ago

      +Róża Sawicka Thank you, so much!

    • Róża Sawicka
      Róża Sawicka 29 days ago

      This talk depicts how we women value Life and how much being grounded can save us from the illusions of what's been acclaimed popular. You are a spirited speaker and a born story-teller. Chapeau bas! Please, keep going.

  • Unfathomable Reasons
    Unfathomable Reasons 29 days ago

    I didn't care for this speech. It reminds me of people that take the Bible literally instead of comprehending that certain passages, or stories represent a moral that is being taught. Just like those people, this woman seemed to miss the whole point of the cliche, and took the saying literally. It really defeats the purpose of the whole thing.

    • Ricky
      Ricky 28 days ago +2

      It's her talk, her ideas that she's sharing. There's no need to be rude. If you watched the video, she says that she actually tried telling her self that today's the last day and it didn't work out, hence the talk..

  • Robert Gentle
    Robert Gentle 29 days ago +16

    Beautiful - one of the most insightful TED talks I've heard!

  • Laura MacGregor
    Laura MacGregor 29 days ago +3

    I’d buy a beautiful dress because people tell me I’m not pretty. I have a disability that has changed how I look and feel about the world. Brain surgery and I cannot move my upper body and am always in pain.

    • Diane Sheats
      Diane Sheats 27 days ago +2

      I'm so sorry. Nobody should tell anyone else they aren't pretty. I'm not, but all living things are beautiful and so are you (and I). Buy that dress if it's what you want!

  • jbela
    jbela 29 days ago +18

    Live each day like its your first,thank you. Because i'm tired of being told that "Life is too short".

  • jhiv3945
    jhiv3945 Month ago +1

    Maybe Steve Jobs was looking at life differently! As a Christian, the last day of my life on earth will not be my last day. Also, I desire to live each day in a way that pleases my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So yes, I live each day as if it were my last (on this earth) and that keeps me from wasting my time on unessentials.

  • cadenayri
    cadenayri Month ago


  • Yoki Lewis
    Yoki Lewis Month ago +1

    pure gold

  • Bang Tran
    Bang Tran Month ago +2

    @TEDx Talks: please take care about the volume level for the next video. thank you!

  • Tracy Johnson
    Tracy Johnson Month ago +59

    This is such a beautiful talk. That last day b.s. has always annoyed me. But, the first day, I can get behind that!

    • remcat
      remcat 3 days ago


    • for real
      for real 17 days ago +1

      +Author Leana Delle Me too. How the heck does anyone know about living "last day" anyway? Even a "dead man walking" to execution can get a reprieve.

    • Tasnim Sheikh Jivaji
      Tasnim Sheikh Jivaji 24 days ago

      I'm changing that story!

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 27 days ago +2

      Thanks, Tracy. It annoyed me, too!!

  • leandro baluyotjr
    leandro baluyotjr Month ago +3

    Thanks a lot Ms.Leana Delle for your inspiring talk ! Wonderful and true !

  • leandro baluyotjr
    leandro baluyotjr Month ago +3

    Very inspiring video ! Regardless of our circumstances or situation in life, the "attitude of gratitude " enhances optimism ! And when it happen, it creates positive vibration in us- mentally, emotionally and spiritually that lead us in a state of joy ,peace and wellness. "Today is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it -Norman Vincent Peale. Thank you for the resource speaker and more success to you & your company !

  • Suresh Kant
    Suresh Kant Month ago +3

    Every day is a new life!

  • Resilient Living TV
    Resilient Living TV Month ago +6

    Very moving presentation. I felt the emotion and the desire to impact the lives of the audience. Thank you for the heartfelt message.

  • kiran ganesh
    kiran ganesh 2 months ago +2

    U really didn't understand what steveee meant it as if you were to die so that you can prioritize your actions and you can really live

  • Lovuschka
    Lovuschka 6 months ago +7

    Tried to live each day as if it was my last. Emergency services now want me to pay for calling them every day and telling them I will die today.

  • Ew Keisha
    Ew Keisha 6 months ago

    But like...I want to live everday like it's my last...Because I don't want to go school and be bored depressed or quiet I want to be me I want to show who i am why I'm loud....I would do that but I need the courage..bc I'm not ready...I dont want to be rejected...for being myself...but I plan to do it very soon I just need a little push...and I'll be me ✌

    • barkYdarkATFB
      barkYdarkATFB 19 days ago

      Don’t be afraid of rejection. Just like anything else, it passes.
      There will be acceptance that comes from you being you. Not only from others who will be attracted to you being you, but from yourself. It will give you a pride and self confidence you wouldn’t know otherwise.
      Don’t wait.

  • Kate
    Kate 7 months ago +7

    that cliche only works for rich people - they can afford to live as if it were their last day... which explains why Jobs said that to himself...

  • jordanmsp124 s
    jordanmsp124 s 7 months ago +1

    i hate how she said she "got depressed"... depression is a serious mental disease that a lot of people suffer from as do can be 'sad' but using depression as an excuse to be sad is annoying and needs to stop :)

    • Gabby A
      Gabby A 24 days ago

      she said she felt depressed(which is an emotion) not that she had depression. Just like saying you got anxious rather than you have anxiety

    • Thomas Ray
      Thomas Ray 29 days ago +4

      It's very possible to feel depressed without having clinical depression.

  • mssummerrose1
    mssummerrose1 9 months ago +5

    She didn't die of cancer but of the chemotherapy... and cancer is a psychologically originated special program of the organism, which was discovered by Dr. Geerd Hamer

  • Satish
    Satish 10 months ago +53

    We Indians say everyday is your first day & the last one

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 9 days ago +1

      +Rajo1012 I believe this to mean that we're in the here and now. Each new day is a beginning; a starting point, and each day ends as though there won't be another. Now is all that matters. Satish is probably better to explain, but that's my interpretation.

    • Rajo1012
      Rajo1012 17 days ago +1

      I don't get it. Can someone interpretate?

    • pikiwiki
      pikiwiki 22 days ago +1

      that covers everything

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle Month ago +1

      I love that!

  • Theresa Todd
    Theresa Todd 10 months ago +1

    Well done.

  • Masyab
    Masyab 10 months ago +5

    It doesn't make everyone that much sad to think it was his/her last day. Instead it makes some of us more serious about doing the right things in each moment.
    I'd say these are just some tricks that works for some, when some finds those totally useless ☺

  • Steve Thomas
    Steve Thomas Year ago +8

    I really liked this talk, such a charismatic speaker too :-)

  • David Coomber
    David Coomber Year ago +1

    Why actually the saying is "live every day as if it's your last for one day it will be and that day may be sooner then you think" this over simplification has little merit or as much meaning as ignorance is bliss .Credit to her for a talk with little content a bad middle and a awful end like a Shakespeare tragedy ,

  • Alison McGillivray
    Alison McGillivray Year ago +2

    Great talk Leana!!! fabulous stage presence and such a sensible topic!!!

  • Doug Voice
    Doug Voice Year ago +8

    so this is the first day of the rest of my life

    • Jim Simpson
      Jim Simpson 10 days ago

      Make it the first day of a new life.

  • Tessa Piotrowski Kristensen

    Great concept!

  • Denise Simpson
    Denise Simpson Year ago +1

    awful outfit

    • Wayne Richardson
      Wayne Richardson Year ago +7

      Lucky for you it's not a fashion parade talk then isn't it!!

  • Carlos Peraltas
    Carlos Peraltas Year ago +1

    todo depende como lo mire uno.

  • Carlos Peraltas
    Carlos Peraltas Year ago

    lo que quiso decir jobs y que vivo, es que es una manera de vivir acelerado sin desperdiciar ni un minuto del dia.

    • ILTstudent
      ILTstudent 2 days ago

      No exactamente. Jobs vivió una vida extremadamente disciplinada con bastante trabajo, vegetarianismo estricto, espiritualidad budista zen y pocos gastos de su dinero. Estuvo elaborando cada dia mas estrategias para que su legado duraría mas de mil años. La formula usada por Jobs es una pregunta y no una afirmación. Lo que propone, es de hacerse diario la pregunta : ¿Realmente harías lo que te propones hacer hoy, si este fuese tu ultimo dia? La idea siendo de valorar su nivel de satisfacción hacia su vida para buscar pronto lo que debe ser cambiado y mejorado para su futuro. La señora Delle lo presento como algún contra-ejemplo solamente porque era conocido de todos, aunque no cabía perfectamente en el modelo de la persona que vive cada dia como si fuera el ultimo.

  • Carlos Peraltas
    Carlos Peraltas Year ago

    yo cuando vivo cada dia como si fuera el ultimo tengo unas ganas y motivacion increible, no comparto lo que decis

  • Random Me
    Random Me Year ago +1

    I procrastinated

  • kyle sebastian
    kyle sebastian 2 years ago +3

    Of course it's some ugly old white bitch saying shit like this bitch just cause you want to have a boring ass life don't mean others have to listen to your dumbass I bet something fun to you is collecting rocks 😭😭 you can live that kind of life but Ima have fun cause it's not all about the money lmao Time is what's important

    • Mike Matthews
      Mike Matthews 2 years ago +6

      If "Time is what's important", as you indicated in your response, why did you WASTE YOUR TIME writing such a response. There is no need to insult her @Kyle. Totally unnecessary!
      If you really value your time (whatever value that may be), you would save it by not writing such a negative response to a positive message. By the way, collecting rocks sound much more interesting than reading your comment.
      Enjoy your "valuable time". No reply needed.

  • christophe parroco
    christophe parroco 2 years ago +31

    I think it's just playing with semantics. Living each day as if it were the last or as if it were the first is the same thing. The point of it is exactly the same. The point is to not think of the future nor the past but to be present in the now. If using these words instead of those help then by all means subscribe to whatever points. But it's the exact same wisdom that's encompassed in that "cliche" saying or the one you're trying to use instead. The goal is the same, the message is the same, it's just to stop having regrets about the past or freak out about the future and not take things for granted. The only reason why people use more living each day as if it were your last is because death is easier to use as an incentive to gain clarity as it's final and doesn't leave you with any other alternative. Thanks for the intent nonetheless and your desire to spread positivity. That's always a good thing

    • endoverse
      endoverse Month ago +3

      Did you really watch her video? It's not the same thing at all. She's explicitely taking issue with not thinking about the future, which is what living each day as our last would encourages us to do. And she makes a pretty good argument at that.

  • Brruno Oliveira Dantas
    Brruno Oliveira Dantas 2 years ago +21

    It was the best message that I have heard.

  • Alex F
    Alex F 2 years ago +31

    I think she did a good job. This is a much better way of thinking about change and goals rather than the cliche phrase

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 3 months ago +1

      +Anthony Knight Awesome! What's the name of the video? I'll check it out. And, thanks!

    • Anthony Knight
      Anthony Knight 3 months ago

      +Author Leana Delle Loved it fact I did a video with the same theme and I made sure to mention yours in it as well as posted the link in the description. To think of each day as your last really does no one any good. Unfortunately, we have become so obsessed with morbidity that we feel the need to acknowledge our own mortality in order to be motivated. It doesn't motivate me at all, but instead fills me with angst. Not healthy.

    • Anthony Knight
      Anthony Knight 3 months ago

      Absolutely....this is really how it should be.

    • Author Leana Delle
      Author Leana Delle 2 years ago +2

      Thanks, Alex! :-)

  • Gus Hutchinson
    Gus Hutchinson 2 years ago +3

    More of a guideline than a rule then ?.... Parisian men are frightful bores ! but living each day as your first would involve more gurgling than googling ...and you might need a nappy and I hope I wasn`t a cesarean