I’m 41 years old. So I’m at half – time. Assuming I live until I’m 80 (and that’s a big assumption because I’ve learned that the only thing you can expect in life is the unexpected), I’m half way home – half way through the adventure I call my life. I’ve become more philosophical these days. I’m less willing to waste my time.
Less willing to listen to negative people. Less willing to miss an opportunity to be loving, champion another
human being, get closer to my dreams or have some genuine fun. I’ve also started reading obituaries.
When I read of the lives others have lived, I’m offered clues on what’s most important in life.
Obituaries of lives well lived actually share consistent themes, I’ve discovered. Family. Friendships.
Contribution to community. The need to take calculated risks. Kindness through small, simple acts. And love. I’ve yet to read an obituary that says, “he died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his lawyers, his stockbroker and his accountant.” No, the great ones all speak of being close to loved ones and of the impact the deceased had on the world around them.
To lead a beautiful life, I suggest that you need to ask the kinds of questions that will provoke you to think deeply and connect with what matters most. One of the dominant traits of so many of the
extraordinary people I’ve worked with as a success coach is the discipline of being more reflective than most of us. So ask profound questions. Good questions lead to excellent answers and greater clarity. And greater clarity is the DNA of authentic success and personal greatness.
Here are five bug questions that I hope will cause you to go deep and become more philosophical about what truly counts in your life. Most people don’t discover how to live until it’s time to die. But by then it’s too late. Ask yourself these five questions today. Write your answers in your journal. Talk about them.
Think about them. Imagine that today is the last day of your life and you are lying on your deathbed. Then ask yourself:
Did I dream richly?
Did I live fully?
Did I learn to let go?
Did I love well?
Did I tread lightly on the earth and leave it better than I found it?
My hope is that the answers you arrive at will help you live with more authenticity, passion and joy.
Clarity really does precede success. You can’t hit a target you can’t even see. And we’re really not here that long, when you think about it. We’ll all be dust before you know it. So live your potential now. The Chinese say it so well: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time is today.”