What unfinished business do you have? Is your house in order? I'm not talking about your house being cleaned and organized, or even that you have your will updated, I'm talking about your relationships and the state of your life. What feels left undone to you?
What about your bucket list? Do you have a bucket list? What regrets would you have if your life ended right here, right now? Have you fulfilled what you came here to do? Are you satisfied with what you've accomplished in this lifetime so far?
Should we spend time giving heartfelt thought to the 'state of our life', to where we are and where we desire to be, to what our heart is telling us we need to do, to feeling good about the status of our relationships, to how much love and light we have spread in this lifetime? I don't think any of us want to be on our deathbed and have regrets, at least not significant regrets anyway.
How are you doing at balancing your life right now? Are you prioritizing the things that are most important to you? How about your relationships? Is there someone that you need to forgive? Someone you need to tell that you love them? Someone you need to express gratitude for? What is holding you back from doing it?
I think these are important questions that we sometimes don't take the time to ask ourselves. We carry on with life, running on the hamster wheel, too busy, too consumed with the daily tasks of life to give attention to where we are at and where we are going.
Now that summer has ended and we are entering into a new season, let's all to a moment to reflect. Reflect on what is going well and what we want to change. Darren Hardy poses this question, "If you died today, what are 3 things do you wish you would've done, gone, become, tried and risked? Just 3 thoughts, jot them down. Then do something today to move on one of those ideas, even if only in a small way."
There is a thought-provoking piece that I read several months ago that I refer to often that I would like to share with you. It's a piece by David Brooks called, The moral Bucket List. Here is an excerpt from his piece.
About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.
When I meet such a person it brightens my whole day. But I confess I often have a sadder thought: It occurs to me that I’ve achieved a decent level of career success, but I have not achieved that. I have not achieved that generosity of spirit, or that depth of character.
A few years ago I realized that I wanted to be a bit more like those people. I realized that if I wanted to do that I was going to have to work harder to save my own soul. I was going to have to have the sort of moral adventures that produce that kind of goodness. I was going to have to be better at balancing my life.
It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.
But if you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K. But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.
So a few years ago I set out to discover how those deeply good people got that way. I didn’t know if I could follow their road to character (I’m a pundit, more or less paid to appear smarter and better than I really am). But I at least wanted to know what the road looked like.
I came to the conclusion that wonderful people are made, not born — that the people I admired had achieved an unfakeable inner virtue, built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.
If we wanted to be gimmicky, we could say these accomplishments amounted to a moral bucket list, the experiences one should have on the way toward the richest possible inner life.
There are no guarantees, life can change in an instant. We all know it, and yet most of the time we carry on as though we have all the time in the world. Sometimes we get a wake up call. Maybe we hear of bad news that happened to someone we know, or maybe we have a close call ourselves. Usually for a period of time we act on that wake up call and take care of a few things that we've been ignoring. What do you need to take care of? Can this post serve today as a wake up call for you?
I would love to hear your feedback on this post. Would you have any regrets if today were your last day in this lifetime? What 3 things did you jot down? Leave me a comment or send me an email. If you would like specific guidance on this area, please let me know. Our Happiness Untangled and Own Your Higher Purpose workshops are a perfect compliment to any work you are doing in this area.