Before I start, I want to acknowledge and thank everyone that spent a considerable part of the last month either fighting the fires or supporting those that were. The amazing RFS volunteers are obviously top of the list. I can’t list everyone else, but others that need special mention are the RFS volunteers families; the Police and other emergency services; those that set up fantastic local initiatives such as the roadside fridge in Bungendore; and those that volunteered their time or money to get supplies to those in affected areas.
Now that the fires have eased, it is time to start looking ahead. This week I want to talk about making sure you get the most out of 2020.
In the last month, I was reminded how important it is to live your life to its fullest. Not only did we see the tragic loss of lives in the fires, but I also lost a friend I went to school with. He was a happily married father of four. On 16 December 2019 he was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, he passed away 11 days later.
Driving down to the funeral, I was listening to a podcast which referenced the work of George Kinder, the father of formalised life planning.
From a financial perspective, most people tend to go through life focussing on how much money they earn, growing their investments and how they will fund their retirement. While these are important, they shouldn’t be the main focus. The main focus should be living your best life.
George recommends the best way to get to the heart of what is really important to you is through the following questions:
- Imagine you won the lottery today and you all of a sudden had more than enough money to last you for the rest of your life. What would the rest of your life be like?
- Now, instead of winning the lottery, imagine you went to the doctor and were told that while you would be healthy, you only had 5 to 10 years left to live. What would you want to do in these 5-10 years?
- Finally, imagine you go to the doctor today feeling healthy, but the doctor reveals that you only have 24 hours to live. This one isn’t what you would do in those 24 hours, but instead what did you miss, who did you not get to be and what did you not get to do?
The first question usually brings up responses such as giving up work and travel. While these are important and shouldn’t be dismissed, they are not really what drives us.
The answer to the second question is usually less materialistic and more focused on family and friends.
The last answer really gets to the heart of who you are, or at least who you should be. George says that the responses to this question are generally along five themes.
- The first is family and friends and the fact that people wished they had done more to treasure their time together.
- Then comes a realisation for many people that they hadn’t lived their life aligned with who they really are.
- Many people also wished they took more time to be creative and adventurous. This includes not only the artistic sense but also with business and life in general.
- Some people also wished they had given more back to others in need, whether this be in time or money.
- Finally people wished they had a greater sense of place. This includes wishing they were more connected to their own community or that they should have moved to a different place that they always felt attracted to.
So my challenge for you all is make 2020, the start of a new decade, the year that you make sure you are living your best life. Take some time, whether it be by yourself or with a loved one, and ask yourself those three questions.
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