“The first thing to remember is to start where we are. How could we start where we are not? And yet, how often we try to start way ahead of ourselves. That leads nowhere. But wherever we are, help is there. Life provides all the help we need. If we trust and look for it, we shall find it.” ~Brother David Steindl-Rast
“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.
“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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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)
Indicator #21 I am able to set and achieve goals
“Weekly Wellness Check-in” is an ongoing weekly post appearing on Mondays, in which I present one indicator from a checklist of positive mental health attributes. Take a look at the indicator and think about how it applies to you, keeping in mind it is an important factor of well-being. We all excel at some things, and need to work on others. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10; One, meaning I am a failure at this, and ten, meaning I have no room for improvement. Nobody may record a 1 or a 10 because there are no failures, and nobody is perfect. If you are happy with where you placed yourself, consider the indicator a strength. If you aren’t, think about a “realistic” place you would like to be, and how you might carry out getting there. My hope is that you will give it some gentle thought. I’d love to hear your tips on how to make each a strength in the comment section.
Indicator #1 I get a good night’s sleep so I feel healthy and alert
Indicator #2 I eat healthy foods to promote health and well being
Indicator #3 I exercise regularly
Indicator #4 I avoid mood altering substances (unless taken as prescribed).
Indicator #5 I make time each week to engage in activities that give me pleasure
Indicator #6 I have friends and family that I can talk to whenever I need a sense of connectedness
Indicator #7 I live in a home that feels safe and nurturing
- Indicator #8 I actively seek solutions for the complaints I have regarding my life, work, and school
- Indicator #9 I know how to forgive myself and others who have hurt me in the past
Indicator #10 I let go of guilt for my past mistakes
Indicator #11 I have enough money, time, friends, space, love, fun, and affection
Indicator #12 I take action based out of love rather than fear
Indicator #13 I am part of a community that gives me a sense of purpose
Indicator #14 I live a life based on choice and meaning
Indicator #15 I am able to ask others for what I need
Indicator# 16 I am able to say no when I don’t want to do something
Indicator #17 I am effectively able to express my feelings and stand up for what I believe in
Indicator #18 I am able to identify what emotion I am feeling at any given time
Indicator #19 I am able to tolerate negative emotion
Indictor #20 I have good problem solving skills