“Life…is a daily miracle. We live in the best time of human history. With planning, preparation and a little discipline, the ordinary person can do extraordinary things.”
Life is a daily miracle…
John Goddard lived almost 90 years. In his lifetime, he worked through a “To-Do” list he created when he was 15 (you know, that age when we believe we know everything).
Why did he create the list?
He was inspired and deeply motivated by something someone said. What did they say? The man told John he regretted NOT doing the things he wanted to do.
This moved John to create a list.
He decided, at an age when he didn’t know much about how “hard” life is, he was going to commit to a list of things he wanted to accomplish in his lifetime.
What was on that list?
Well, I’ll tell you what was NOT on that list:
- Spend more time working
- Mow the grass
- Do the laundry
- And other “to-do” type items….
Instead, his list had things like:
- Hike the highest mountains in the world
- Learn to fly a plane
- Visit the North and South Poles
- Learn another language
- Read the works of Shakespeare and Plato
- Learn to play an instrument
- Live until the 21st century
- And more….
What’s On Your Life To-Do List?
Turning “I wish I had done that”…to “I did that”…
I have one of these lists. I’ve always written things down, but only recently created the “big, hairy, scary”…and exciting “life” list. I created it about 15 years ago. What I found was that the first 35 or so items were really easy to write down. After that, it got a little tougher.
I think it’s because I’m not 15. Because of that, my “practical” brain jumped in to challenge my sense of what’s realistic rather than allowing my “creative” brain to explore what’s possible.
Has that ever happened to you?
How many times have you talked yourself out of something because it wasn’t practical, or realistic?
I like how John Goddard approached life. His “list” became his personal mission…perhaps for no other reason than to see if he could do it.
Did he complete everything on the list? No….but that didn’t matter.
Because he pursued his goals, he lived an incredible life. He didn’t waste a lot of time, wasting time.
He lived a life well planned.
Once he wrote it down, he committed to it.
Making Goals Work
Turn “off” the screen and turn “on” your life…
You know what I find amazing? Once you set an intention and start taking little actions aligned with those intentions, the whole world can conspire to help you achieve your goal.
Even when you don’t remember making the goal!
After a recent move, I was going through a box of notebooks I had written in during high school. I don’t even remember writing down the words; however, I was amazed at how many of those original thoughts had come to fruition.
I am doing the kind of work I wanted to do, I have the family I envisioned, and I have even lived in some of the places I talked about in those early journals.
And…I don’t remember writing it!
Today, I’m more aware of my “lists”…my personal list and the list of goals shared with my husband. We have crossed off a lot of items on the list in the past 36 years, have added others, and are still working on things from the original list.
Each list (personal and larger) started with a vision. A clear vision of how we wanted our life to look and how we wanted to feel living in that life.
From there, the list grew as we got really creative and had a lot of fun answering the question, “If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do….”
For us, that has meant physically living in various places. Not everyone understands that, but we do. Very early in our marriage, we had a good idea of things we wanted to do in our lives. Each home we have had has allowed us to do those things.
Remember, reaching your goals is not always a straight line…in fact, it most often isn’t a straight line from ‘here’ to ‘there’. And, I don’t believe it’s suppose to be. That’s where the growing part of growing up comes in.
Most often, when life starts to feel stagnant, or boring, it’s because we stop living from a place of possibility and opportunity. We forget about our dreams and goals…our list.
Face it…our lives are pretty cushy. It’s easy to sink into the couch and live vicariously through the “reality” played out on television after a tough day at work, right?
But it doesn’t have to be this way if you don’t want it to.
I recently left a telemarketer speechless….I know, impossible, right?
He was trying to sell me on some live streaming television movie package. You know the routine, it was free for 7 days and then you pay for it.
I told him, “Thank you for the offer, but I don’t watch TV”
“But we have movies…”
“Don’t watch a lot of those….”
“Not much….TV is a time-suck”
Now, we do have cable. We watch football and there are 3 shows I enjoy watching every week but beyond that….
The average time Americans watch TV is somewhere between 5-9 hours per day, depending on which survey you read. That doesn’t include screen time in front of your electronic devices watching other forms of streaming video. That’s amazing.
My goal is to NOT be up to date on all the latest story lines on television. Yes, I want to go out and see great movies. I also want to LIVE everyday to create my own great life movie and be on the very low end of that daily screen-time number!
How about you….are you on the couch? Or are you creating the life you always wanted to live?
When you have been on a commercial break for too long refer to “The List.”
What’s on yours?
When do you want to check off the next item?
What can you do today to get you closer to making it happen?
Will you take the advice of John Goddard, and live a life well-planned…
“…fully, deeply, optimistically, without holding onto baggage of the past, no fear of the future, and live each day compete.”
Live Each Day Complete…I like that!