The other day, I wasn’t feeling 100% so I actually just stayed in bed all day and just read articles, watched YouTube videos on personal development and did some planning.
It turns out, that was a defining moment, laying in bed.
If you follow a lot of personal development material, you’ll eventually come across a concept called “writing your own eulogy”. This concept was also mentioned in Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” where he talks about writing your own Eulogy to find out what you really want to do with your life.
Even though I’ve read about this many moons ago, I thought this time, while I’m lying in bed, to reevaluate my life and to try doing it again.
After writing out my eulogy and feeling even worse than before, it dawned on me that my initial eulogy I wrote 10 years ago hasn’t changed.
Finding Out What I Wanted To Do
One of the things on my list was to write several best selling books that would be remembered. I think it’s good to have a legacy in there because let’s say you ahcieve your goals and become a super rich person. As a result of being super rich, you can finally do what you love. However what if you achieve this goal during the later years of your life? What if you finally achieve financial independence at 60. That means you have about 13 years left to finally do what you love.
That’s if you make it past 60 of course.
After reading Seneca’s book “The Shortness of Life” it really triggered me and got me thinking about my goals. It’s a trap to think that your happiness lies at the end of the rainbow. Retirement, financial freedom later on in life, when you get that promotion, when you get that house, when you get that car etc.
The problem is that those are all in the future and may never occur. Your happiness will depend on a single event and up until that day, you may be miserable chasing after that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So how do you avoid this trap?
First of all, we need to be absolutely clear with what you want to achieve in your life. The only way to do this is to write out your own eulogy and whatever you write on that is now your life goal because that’s what you want to be remembered for.
Once you’ve written your eulogy, you can begin to allocate time to working on those goals immediately! Not later on in life for that day may never come.
Upon reflection, I also realised that the attainment of a goal could be monetary. For example, let’s say that your dream is to write a book and sell a million copies. What would happen if you didn’t sell a million copies? Would you be sad and depressed? Would it be a waste of time?
The answer is no.
As you reach the end of your life and looking back, you will never have any regrets writing that book even if you never sold a million copies. It’s nice to achieve that monetary status but the achievement of writing that book, you’ll never regret it.
As Seneca said, that people will never give away their money but gladly give away their time. Time is all we have and that’s what life is made up of. Money can always be made back but time cannot.
Therefore we must avoid the trap of chasing after money so that one day we can do what we love to do. It could be too late. If we are working in a 9-5, this will consume a huge chunk of your life but there’s nothing stopping you from doing what you love part time so that one day it will become a full time gig.
Let’s say that you’re 35 now, that means you have another 40 years left of life to make use of. There’s no point in working in a job you hate till your 60 then you finally get to do what you love.
However there’s also a plot twist to this. It’s also ok to do something you hate for the money. Most of the time, if you do what you love, you won’t get paid much for it, especially at the start. However, if you do something you hate but is valuable in the marketplace, you can easily make money there.
The distinction between passion and doing something you hate for the money is that you can easily fund your dreams later on.
A worthy plan would be to raise money by doing something you hate while on the side, you’re doing something you love.
Over time, in a few years, you would of accumulated money from the job you hated, maybe it’s enough to fund your dreams and work on it full time plus you’ve also started working on your dreams part time and have accumulated years of experience.
Don’t waste time. Find out what you truly want to do with your life and get to work on it immediately, even if it’s part time. Live life with little regret because we never regret the things we did, only the things we didn’t do.
Stay Strong and Be Relentless.