“What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” – Hugh Mulligan
When faced with mortality would you be able to say you lived? I mean really LIVED! My father gave every ounce of himself to ensure my family had the pleasantries of a happy lifestyle. He worked, quite often, from 7AM to about 9-10PM and several more hours on the weekends as well. He later contracted Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and passed away at the ripe young age of 51. There have been many times where I think back and wonder if he ever got to do everything he wanted to. I believe the answer to that question is a resounding No.
In light of how fragile life can be and the fact that you never truly know when your time is up I have decided to create my list of life experiences that I mean to complete within my lifetime. As I add things to this list I want to picture myself completing them. If I don’t feel totally awesome for completing it then it doesn’t go on my list. Some items are on the list that I’ve already completed, however before this list made a physical form these things existed on the list. I feel it’s still important to have them on the list.
So why the list? Why now?
More and more I’m looking back on the things I’ve accomplished in life and the experiences I’ve had and realized I’m falling into a rut. Everything is becoming routine. Day in and day out. I’m doing the same things wasting away time I can be spending with my family and friends. Most of the time I’m chasing the all mighty dollar. As I come upon my 40th birthday I’ve made a pledge to myself that I would make a change, here and now. I would make it a point to involve myself more in the lives of my children. I would reunite with my wife. I will re-engage in life as a whole. This is the reason for the title “Purposeful Life List”. My goal is to live with more purpose. To truly enjoy life for all it has to offer.
This list throws all fears, logistics, financial costs, etc. out the window. It is a list of what I truly and wholeheartedly want to do, get, etc. It’s the things that make me itch, that make me bounce in my seat, that makes my stomach flutter when I know I have the opportunity to get/do “it”.
I encourage you to do the same.
Make your own list. Add to the list the things you said would be “impossible” to do. Just sit down with a blank document or a big piece of paper and start writing. Don’t worry about how much something is going to cost, how afraid you are, physical concerns or the logistics involved. Just write. There is no right or wrong way to go about doing this.
Make them intentional, not wishes. Make them ambitious. Dream Big. Go outside your comfort zone. What do you have to lose? It’s a list. It’ll inspire you. Doing things you think you can’t do are intellectually seductive. Give in to it. You might learn something about yourself you didn’t already know. There’s something inside all of us that is bound by fear. Release those thoughts and feel alive. Learn what you are capable of.
Share your endeavors with others. The social world has made it so that you can truly make an impact with your experiences without a whole lot of effort. Make it so that when your time is up, you can truly say “I lived!”
Some examples of lists that inspired this idea: