|At this time of year, we all look to what we could change in our life for the new year. Some take formal resolutions, most don't. Some act upon them to make a difference in their life, most just hope for a better year. I propose you look at it on a different angle. What if you were to die today... would you be happy with what you have done so far? How would you name the movie of your life? Would you pay to see it? If you can't find a title or if you wouldn't pay to see it, then perhaps it's time to dig in your memory to find back your dreams and seriously chase after one of them.|
I will let you with your own
reflections and decision to act on your dreams or not... but if you
have found a title for your life, please post it below. Listing your
past achievements is often referred to the inverted bucket list,
because you won't list things you'd be proud to do, but things you're
proud to have done. Everyone should sit down once in a while and
dress up that list. Ideally, keep it in one file date every
achievement... so the next time you just have to update for the last
months since your previous revision.
I'll do the exercise too... with you!
I guess the title of my movie life would be “The Asynchronous Man”.
Why? Because I have lived my life in parallel to the society, not
in it. I've done many things most people don't do... while NOT doing
things most people do.
My bucket list include the following
facts: surviving (although scorched) a difficult childhood, graduate
from university (in a school system not done for gifted kids), my
Mensa membership, kept my life generally free of negative energy and
influences, being recognized in the world as the best reference on a
topic – that provided me more than 15 minutes of fame in those
years, published a book, I've already travelled more then most people
do (and it's just a beginning! - but Mexico is my 13th
country), had a significant life-long impact on at least one person
(completely changed the life of a person I never met), the certitude
I have made more good than bad in my life.
I achieved that while not doing what
most people do (as expected by our society): having a family, a
house, a long-term career, a huge network of friends, etc. But
that's also true for smaller things like drinking coffee, driving a
car, going to parties, having fun or getting drunk. Most of these
items were really choices of mine, some were imposed to me, but as a
result of various other decisions I made. On most aspects of my
life, society would judge me as a failure, that's okay. I've never
been subject to peer pressure, most of the time only my opinion of
I'm not the kind of person who has
regrets, for anything. If I have a bad moment or make a bad choice
(yes, that happens!), I put it in my bag of life experiences and note
what I could have done differently for the future. But I don't blame
myself for making a bad decision... I made the choice that I felt was
right based on the information I had then.
Would I pay to see it? Yes, probably
(even if I don't go to the movies often). I like tales when the
intelligence overcomes adversity.
Although I believe in general karma
(“Do good, it will be returned”), I don't believe in fate
(“Whatever you do, it will have no impact on your life”). A few
months ago, a friend posted on his Facebook page a text saying “A
year ago, I would have never thought my life would be like it is
today”... as if their life miraculously changed overnight. My
reply to that was “I did... that's how it became reality!”
If you just hope for change, it will
most probably never happen (unless you just won the jackpot in the
life lottery). You have to act to make it happen. Take a good look
at your strengths and weaknesses. What could you do to tap in your
strengths and make something that will make a difference (at least in
your own life, not necessarily the whole planet!). As a programmer,
my goal was always to simplify the life of my clients or users. To
use my knowledge to make their life easier and more productive, so
they can do more towards their goals.
On the flip of the coin, look at your
weaknesses pick one to work on over the next year. It could be to
reduce or eliminate a shortcoming in your personality or work towards
adding or improving a skill. When I began planning this journey of
mine, I knew one of the challenges I would face would my tolerance
and my lack of 'zenitude'. Now, I can tell you I was right on the
point. If I hadn't worked on those aspects of my personality before
my departure, I wouldn't have lasted 3 months on the road. Although
mass communications is a strength of mine, individual communication
with people facing me is still a real challenge. But I'm still
kicking my butt to improve that. That's often exhausting, but I keep
on... because I know it will make me a better person down the road.
You're never too old to change your
personality and the direction your life goes to. You can teach new
tricks to an old monkey, despite what the proverb says!
So, what would be the movie title of
your life? Would you pay to see it? What strength of yours will you
tap on to make a difference? What weakness will you work on? Do you
have a dream you'll work on to make it become a reality?