Today is the last day of “American Heart Month,” an initiative launched by the Centers for Disease Control encouraging men to incorporate healthy habits into their daily routines to better help lead to a lifetime of heart health. Why? Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. And for Speaker Ryan—like it is for so many others—it’s very personal.

“None of them made it to 60,” Speaker Ryan told NBC News’s Luke Russert, speaking about his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. “It gave me the sense that life is short and make the most of it. . . . I work on my health. My brothers are very vigilant about their health as well. When three people in your family haven’t made it to 60—your dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather—you focus on that. So I watch my health.”

After all, life is short—and for many, too short. “I’ve always just believed you better make the most of it, right here and now, because life can be kind of short. You never know. So it’s always given me a sense of urgency. I don’t necessarily think about it consciously, but I’ve always had a sense of urgency about things.”

“Everybody has a finite amount of time—I just don’t know how long mine is,” said Speaker Ryan. “It’s in the back of your mind. My dad—it was in the back of his mind. His dad died at 57. My dad died at 55. It’s a motivator, I gotta tell you.”

As Speaker Ryan concluded, “Control what you can control, which is yourself, and let the rest happen.” Learn more about a heart-healthy lifestyle