How much time do you have?
And . . . I’m not referring to your “TO DO” list for today or this week or taking the latest and greatest time-management seminar to get tips on how to manage time (managing time - a myth by the way – but I’ll save that and your time for a future article).
Regarding the title - not teasing you with morbidity – just realistic, practical and/or as genuine as possible.
Last year I lost 4 close friends between the ages of 50 and 90 and none of them saw it coming. How about you – could you be next? Again – not being negative or morose – just asking you to consider a simple question – if today was your last day – would/could you leave here; contented, without regret, peaceful, satisfied and with a positive legacy or the opposite of many of these?
While you are reading this, and I don’t really care whether you are 25, 50 or 100+ cause the question is the same for all of you – let me repeat – if today was your last one – how would you leave here and what would you leave behind?
“Tim, it sure sounds morose.” – sorry – we are all going to die and none of us has the privilege of knowing when, where or how. So, let’s talk a little about how you are living so when it’s your turn, you’ll be ready if you aren’t today.
There are a few life fundamentals that everyone wants in life – happiness, security, health and love (given and received). Yes, there are may others for some people – wealth, fame, power, control, reputation, lots of friends, nice cars and homes, beautiful and handsome spouses and perfect kids etc. Problem is if you haven’t figured it out yet – you’ll never have everything or all of the ones you think you need - to have a contented, happy, peaceful life. Bet I lost a few of you with this remark!
Don’t believe me – tell me one person you know that has it all (and with these people you think that do – do you know what goes on behind closed doors in their lives – do you know what they worry about – do you know their stressors?).
Or, maybe you think you have it all. Well if this is true 1) trust me - either have really low standards, needs, expectations in every or many areas of your life 2) you are perfect or just maybe – 3) you have figured out what it takes (FYI – this one puts you in the minority) to live a contented life and no matter when your time will be up – you will be ok with it.
Some of you might be interpreting this article from a spiritual perspective and that is perfectly legitimate but that is not my primary focus although it is a critical piece of living and leaving with an “I’m OK and ready to go” mindset. But, I’ll save that one for another time. For now, I want to focus on what I refer to as “Life’s Ten Essentials” for a contented life and a positive legacy.
Before I give them to you if you don’t know what they are, let me repeat - the spiritual piece of life is vital and even if you have all of the following without it you may find it difficult to live and leave peacefully but it isn’t my intent to preach in this article but FYI - I do in many others. Ok, here are what I believe are the ten essentials for a contented life (and yes, there could be many others (these are just mine). It’s not my intention to tell you how to live, (I don’t have - nor does anyone else have that right) for me - I am far from perfect or ideal. Having said all this, if you think any or all of them are on target and you are willing to take a few minutes to clarify them from your perspective – why not jot down a few notes or write a sentence or two about what these mean to you and generally how you think you are doing. At the least a few additional trigger words that come to mind when you consider each of them.
Back to the title – regardless of how much time you may or may not have how do you want your legacy to read ? ? ?
They are in no special order;
Appreciation or I Deserve This –
Gratitude or You Owe Me –
Other or Self Focused –
Integrity or Whatever It Takes –
Giving or Greed –
Humility or Prideful -
Forgiveness or Blame & Anger –
Letting Go or Staying stuck –
Balance or Single focused life –
Faith or It’s All My Doing –