In 2018, the average life expectancy for Americans was 78.7 years, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). If a person is 30 years old, he or she has approximately 17,776 days before time runs out!
What will you see when you reflect back on your journey and approach the last days of your life?
- Will it be a picture of someone who made a difference in the lives of their family and others, or
- Will it be an image of someone who achieved a great deal of notoriety and material comforts, but has broken relationships, regrets and little joy or fulfillment?
Each person has a purpose.
It is important to stop and consider what that purpose is.
It is also imperative that we gain clarity about what we would like to see at the end of our lives. After clearly imagining the picture, the process of consciously painting it should start or continue today. Crystallizing our thinking and developing a strategic life plan may be helpful.
A Helpful Exercise
As we all know, each minute of every day is precious. To live a full and meaningful life, we should be intentional and take the time to prayerfully consider and visualize the end of our lives.
The process of “painting the picture” should begin with an understanding of your purpose, vision and mission.
One exercise is to:
- Determine the roles you play in all areas of life and with whom you play them.
- Then ask yourself what you would like those you love, lead and serve to say about you at the end of your life.
- Are you living in such a way that these people would say what you desire?
- If not, do not lose heart or become discouraged.
- Determine what needs to change and begin the process of intentionally making those changes.
Time passes quickly. In our busy culture, we can become oblivious to this fact. It is nice to occasionally review material, such as the poem written by Linda Ellis titled “The Dash.” If you have not read it, I encourage you to take the time to Google it. It will be worth the few minutes that you will invest finding and reading it.
It could prove helpful as you begin the process of visualizing THE END and developing a strategic focus for the remainder of your life.
Starting with “Why?”
By starting with why, we begin to focus on maximizing the rest of our lives in ways that matter.
Purpose means getting clear on what we want to accomplish, and it determines what our legacy will be, as each one of us will have one. The challenge then becomes determining how to live your purpose out starting today.
Working through this process can serve as a catalyst for evolving toward a purpose that is bigger than we are. Taking the time to develop a vision of what that looks like is challenging, but it provides a certain level of freedom.
Once you do this, it should not be kept secret. The process should be something that you want to share with others and encourage them to undertake as well. Many people live aimless lives, focused on doing just enough to get by.
Whether people, especially leaders, realize it or not, a lack of purpose can negatively affect the individuals with whom they interact. Leading from a place of purpose fosters passion and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of others. It also helps in recognizing and overcoming the challenges and distractions that impede progress.
Schedule time to talk at: