Life is Short

Life is short
Unknown baby in coffin, c. 1880 – 1920 via State Library Victoria

Life is short. It’s over before you know it.

Even without the Cult of Celebrity, most of us want to be remembered. Hopefully for something worthwhile.

I’d prefer to be known more for my books than my lackadaisical housekeeping. You might prefer being a good parent, circus performer or surgeon.

It’s funny that when I was 15, I thought I would die if I didn’t die famous. (Yes, I know I died twice in that sentence – I was being teenage dramatic).

In my thirties, I was too embarrassed to be known for anything.

And now I’m somewhere in between the two extremes.

But the thing about being known for something comes with the proviso you have to be doing something worthwhile. That contributes to a worthwhile life.

Starting Small

Laura Vanderkam suggests compiling a list of 100 dreams. They can be big goals as well as small tasks. But they give you the opportunity to try out goals and activities before committing to them.

Growing your Life

Mark Manson proposes seven questions to help figure out your life purpose.

  1. What’s your favourite flavour of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?
  2. What is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?
  3. What makes you forget to eat and poop?
  4. How can you better embarrass yourself?
  5. How are you going to save the world?
  6. Gun to your head, if you had to leave the house all day, every day, where would you go and what would you do?
  7. If you knew you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered?

The idea here, is to think about:

  1. The unpleasantness you can endure.
  2. The excuses you comfort yourself self.
  3. Your transferrable skills.
  4. How much does it take to scare you out of doing something meaningful?
  5. The national and global crisis points you can make a difference to.
  6. What it takes to make you take action.
  7. What you stand for.

It seems to me, that’s a fairly comprehensive way of eliminating the careers/goals/projects that won’t work for you.

28th February 2021

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