Born, Died And In Between You Did What?

The only thing that is certain in life is that we are all going to die – we don’t know when, where or how, but some day we will experience our last day on earth. So the question is – how are you living each day or how will you live the time you have left?

Strange questions? I don’t think so.

People who accomplish the most in life regardless of its value to themselves or humanity spend their days in pursuit of more or better and I’m not talking about more or better stuff but more or better experiences that add value to their time while here.

It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, laborer, physician, CEO, parent or any and every other life role – in the end your legacy that you leave behind will not be because of what you owned, how smart or famous you were or how long you lived but simply what or how you contributed to life and or others whether friends, relatives or total strangers.

Life – such a fragile concept and oh so short when you really think about it. The earth has been here for billions of years. Life has been on it for millions of years and we get seventy or eighty years to live. Scary huh? It isn’t my intent to give you a lesson on death and how you should prepare for it or handle it but how you can live while you are still here.

Over the years I have observed many people who just existed waiting to die and I have known many people who squeeze every ounce of life out of every minute and seen how most people who live somewhere in between. How about you – which category are you in?

I have watched people chase fame and wealth who in the end left here with many regrets. I have known people who measured their value by their bank balance, latest vacation or shopping spree. And I have witnessed many who believed that life was about them and only them. Very sad when you think about it.

What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered – for what you had or earned, what you accomplished, what you learned or knew or some other factor?

Or, do you want to be remembered for how you helped others, loved, shared, sacrificed and encouraged those who crossed your path or you shared life with?

Tough questions? Don’t have answers? Have answers but not sure if they will ever be realized? Welcome to life with all its uncertainty, unknowns and fleeting experiences.

Most people are so busy chasing something and whether they get it or not is not often the issue but just continuing the chase and for what purpose – to leave behind, what? That my friends is the real question.

I am by no means suggesting that we shouldn’t pursue – accomplishment, achievement, success, wealth or any other life experience – what I am asking you to consider is – what is the meaning or purpose behind your search, pursuit or actions or that which is driving you forward each day? And in that search are you missing something or leaving something more valuable behind?

I can’t answer these questions for you – no one can – I am asking you to think about some of this stuff before you get to your final day or days.

Several of my heroes, and I won’t mention them, accomplished a great deal in life while they were alive but in the end left here very empty. Why? Was it ego, arrogance, insecurity, the need for approval or never considering what life is, means and its true and real value.

Post New Year’s Resolution – It’s Never Too Late

So you missed making any New Year’s resolutions before January 1st. Fear not. November and December feature more than enough distractions, added responsibilities and commitments during the holidays. Despite all our so-called time-saving 21st century devices, we’re more overwhelmed than ever before. For this reason it’s justifiably difficult to take a breather and focus on new beginnings and transformations for the coming year.

Opportunities always abound and are still there when you’re ready as long as you had prior genuine commitments. Opportunity will still be in the waiting room even as the train pulls out. Just because you miss the train doesn’t mean the rail yard is empty. But when you use laziness and sloth as excuses, opportunity vanishes in a heartbeat. The waiting room seat won’t even be warm when you arrive.

Many of these so-called start dates for change are artificial and self-imposed, a psychological obstacle or excuse we place before us because change can be scary even when it’s voluntary. The control we have is the present. The past is gone. This concept mirrors a saying for aviators, “There’s nothing more useless than runway behind you and sky above you.”

Particularly for those living in wintry climes what better time to start anew than during the post-holiday winter doldrums when there are fewer distractions and the dominating weather is cold, the days are short and the skies are a depressing industrial gray. It’s an excellent environment to close the daylight between the idea, intent and action in a seamless ignition to grab the momentum and to catapult yourself towards your dreams in quantum leaps. All this ultimately comes down to mindset.

First, you must psychologically eliminate artificially imposed dates.

Second, you mustn’t be overly specific on what you want. Too much specificity often bleeds over into delays, excuses and procrastination which will stall your progress. Establish a general goal and then work on the specifics while on the road. Sometimes you’ll discover that there are even better options as you cruise along and then easily change lanes instead of remaining at the entrance ramp plotting in excruciating detail every road you need to take.

Third, during this journey on this transformation road presents its own challenges: bumpy or pot holed areas, slick spots, fog, high tolls, and inevitably other vehicles abandoned at the side of the road by drivers who had excellent ideas and intentions but simply gave up.

By undertaking in earnest your transformation now you’ll already see measurable progress by springtime. The upcoming challenges will still be there but less daunting because you’ve accomplished the hardest part – to get going.

Copyright Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC 2014. All rights reserved.

Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC is a NYC-based global advisory service and think tank with connections at the highest levels. We provide you the tools to successfully negotiate cross-culturally in your global business endeavors. Tell us about your challenges. We’ll get you on the “Short List”.