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“What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” performed by Milt Jackson. Click on the arrow to listen while you read

 

The year was 1973. As was often the case, my friends and I were hanging out in one of their basements listening to this album. Kind of unusual for a 16 year old, but what can I say; we were cool.

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“What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” is one of the more melancholy songs on this great album, and guaranteed to put you into a pensive mood. Listening to jazz, pondering the big questions, we asked ourselves, What will we be doing the rest of our lives.

Here I am 40 years later, and I am still asking myself the same question. What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

I have come to realize, after meeting with people of all ages for the past several years, that this is a question many have on their mind.

Do you remember being asked in elementary school what you wanted to be when you grew up? I recently talked with an eight year-old who was worried about how he was going to get into an ivy league college so that he could be a marine biologist when he grew up.

I don’t know how common it is for eight year-olds to have such concerns; perhaps it just evidence of how competitive our world has become.

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Some people, like Picasso, have a clearly defined sense of who they are, what they want to do, and how they’re going to do it at every stage of their lives.

However, a  large percentage don’t have a clue, or are afraid to follow their hearts. Others let family, friends, and society tell them who they are and what they will do.

Whether you’re in elementary school, high school, or a college graduate; whether you’re in a mid-life crisis or facing retirement, the question remains: “What are you going to do for the rest of your life?”

Howard Buffet

Howard Buffet

Warren Buffet’s son, Howard G. Buffet is writing a book called “40 Chances,” set to be released in October 2013 (I have pre-ordered my copy). Being Howard Buffet, he has his hands in many pots, but is particularly interested in agriculture and solving world hunger.

Once, while attending a meeting, it occurred to him that a farmer has roughly forty chance to harvest a high yield crop; forty years being the average career span of a farmer.

He then thought that forty years doesn’t just apply to farmers; it applies to us all. We each have roughly forty years to make a contribution and leave our legacy. Interesting concept huh?

How fast can you count to 40? 

That’s a fear based question isn’t it. It’s not about how fast you can produce a high yield crop but…what you consider a high yield crop to be, and whether or not you are living your life in such a way that you will obtain your desired results.

It involves making mistakes, and not just learning from them but implementing what you’ve learned. It means making choices that take you toward what you value most.

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The “Whats”

Think about what’s most important to you in your life and what you want to achieve. What makes you happy and what are your values? What have you already accomplished and how would you spend your days if money were not an issue?  What are you willing to fight for? What are you grateful for and who do you most admire? What are you drawn to, and how would you change the world if you could? These are big questions worth taking the time to answer.

The “Hows”

Whatever your answers are to the questions above, make sure you…

1. Identify your passion.

2. Surround yourself with people of similar passion.

3. Take action.

4. Always make choices that lead you towards what you value most.

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Take a trip down memory lane with me by listening to the end of this song and contemplate what you are going to be doing the rest of your life.

That’s all for this week. I’m heading out of town next Friday, and will be posting pictures from my vacation. Stop back in on Thursday for the next round of Self Discovery the Michelangelo Way. 

Until then, may you find your cup half full 🙂

Barbara (The Blog Whisperer)

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 P.S. If you are interested in a good book about finding your passion read…

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