Want to change your life, in both profound ways and small, day to day as well as over the big picture? A powerful way to live your life daily, even moment to moment, is to keep this line of thinking ever at the forefront of your thoughts.
Live your life with the end result in mind.
How do you want to be remembered by the people who are deeply special to you?
What do you want to have experienced, done, seen, learned, said, when your time here on Earth comes to a close?
Who do you want to be while you are here in the world? How do you want to treat the people you love most? What kind of colleague do you want to have been? Friend? Romantic love?
What do you want to have spent the bulk of your life focusing on?
Cultivating? Growing? Building? Doing? Saying?
These are questions that most of us ponder for a few moments once in a while, and then promptly forget about. Allowing them to be buried under the sea of “to-dos” in everyday life, most of which are time killers and probably aren’t especially important over the long run.
Too many of us, in fact, I would venture most (myself included), tend to get caught in the mostly mindless autopilot of daily routine. What we need to do on this or that day, what to make for dinner, or where to grab lunch. Why our idiot of a co-worker just did or said that. How tired we are. That we need to grab more dish soap.
A couple of these may be important.
Most though are distractions, not really important for the big picture painting of our lives. Instead, tending towards taking our attention away from the much larger, opportunity laden, wide-sweeping potential of all that is life.
Then suddenly, we look up and it’s a year, five years, or even ten years later. And still, our lives consist of routinized, generally monotonous, comfortable pictures.
The same relationships for years and years, whether each of those (romantic, platonic, even familial) are actually good and healthy fits for us any longer or not. Likely the same job, whether it alights one's heart or not. Probably hanging out with most of the same people and in many of the same locales during one's free time.
While this is a comfortable way to live… it’s far from living up to our fullest and most awe-inspiring potential.
It's far from reveling in the short time that each of us has here, alive in this world, with all of the awe, whimsy, curiosity, and sense of agency that we could.
It’s far from living life with the end result in mind.
Instead, it’s more along the lines of merely existing, moving through one’s days on autopilot, complacent, and sticking to that which is safe and easy.
And when we forget or fail to live with the end result in mind, our lives tend to become dull, stunted, lacking in color or challenge, as well as void of so much of the beauty, thrill, sense of personal purpose, and fulfillment of which they could be filled with.
When you operate and think, daily, with the end result of your life in mind, it helps to cut through the clutter of your heart, thoughts, and jumbled “to do” list to what really matters.
Asking yourself, day to day, even moment to moment, “the end will come. In fact, it’s coming closer with each passing day.”
“What do I really want to do?”
“What do I not want to do, or, what makes me distinctly unhappy which I am continuing to invest in and spend time on? Why? And, how can I change this immediately?”
“Who do I deeply love, and do I show them this often via both my words and actions?”
“What do I want to experience and see? What must I do before my time runs out?”
“What makes my heart truly sing? And am I filling my days with as much of that as possible?”
“How do I want to be remembered by the core people I cherish and adore?”
Living with such a mindset at the forefront of your mind can majorly impact your day to day choices, as well as larger life decisions. When you consider that time is ticking, life is short, that you only have so much time left on this Earth and then guess what? It’s all going black, baby.
This can help you get serious and crystal clear, fast, with regards to what you want to be doing, with whom you want to be doing it, and on what you choose to focus.
When we forget this crucial mindset and let it fall to the wayside, this tends to result in growing complacent. Letting each day slide, unmemorably, into the next. Life becomes a blur of days that look much the same. This leads to looking up, years later, and regretting. Lamenting, man, if only I had said, or done, or pursued, or been braver, or worker harder at that thing, or not given up that project I so loved, you get the idea.
And while there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it’s a major case of settling for all that one could have done and experienced, if they lived with far more bravery, intent, motivation, stronger direction, and awareness.
When we forget to live our lives with the end result in mind, we forget to live.
Want to change your life drastically? Decide to live with this knowledge at the forefront, front row, and center stage of your mind every single day, and throughout each day.
You are likely to find yourself as a result, changing much of your behaviors and responses to other aspects of life.
When you live your life with the end result in mind…ask yourself often, is this situation, relationship, job, or way of being how I want to be spending my fleeting time here on Earth?
Does this fill my life with meaning?
Does it add to my emotional health?
Is it good for me?
Do I love it?
Is this truly good enough?
Do I want to dare to grow further, to experience more? To seek beyond?
To pursue joy, further growth, and my utmost health (both physically and emotionally)?
Ask yourself, “What is it I deeply wish and need to do with my one wild and precious life?”
And then, examine your life as it is now and whatever doesn't match, start fixing and altering now so that it will be in line with the answer.
No one said it would be easy. No one said it will not be scary. I can tell you personally, I’ve been absolutely terrified prior to doing most of the biggest things that have ended up changing my life in monumental ways.
To name a few: moving to a foreign country where I knew no one, didn’t speak the language, and without a job lined up. Leaving someone I had been with romantically for nearly ten years because while loving him, knowing we were not a good fit, and then finally garnering the guts to let him go. Standing up for myself and finding the courage to draw a line in the sand with regards to certain toxic family members or situations. Letting go of a couple of friends over the years, and even a couple of family members who were not good for me, because they brought more pain and harm than good into my life.
All of these scenarios absolutely terrified me, were some of the hardest things I have ever challenged myself to do, and yet all of them have led to life riches I could not have imagined, further personal growth, greater health and happiness, and even magic later on down the road, as an indirect (or direct) result of my having made those really tough decisions and leaps.
You can live a life of magic, romance, wonder, and awe.
You can experience, do, and feel wondrous, meaningful things.
You can have emotionally deep, beautiful, poignant connections with a handful of amazing people whom you choose to cultivate and build so with.
You can have a job that fills you with purpose and passion.
You can venture to jaw-dropping locales and thrilling new places.
You can publish that book, or draw people towards loving your photographs, poetry, pottery, you name it. You can move people with your words and work. In fact, you can change lives with it.
You can love, deeply, wholly, in a way that fills your soul, if you so choose to.
You can host memorable, emotional, fantastic celebrations with people you love.
You can live in other countries, different parts of the world. And revel in other miraculous chapters of your life in each varying place.
You can stand up for yourself to people who are shitty, harmful, or hurtful when you need to- though it will be hard (especially when they are people you love…and yes, sometimes they will be).
You can do this, and you will grow stronger, more self-assured, happier, and emotionally healthier for doing so. Your relationships will improve as a result.
You can choose carefully (and should do so) the people you let into your life and heart.
You can sprint after the projects, passions, people, and pursuits, that set your heart on fire.
Are you living your life, every single day, considering carefully the end result?
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
Don’t take too long to decide though, it’ll be too late. Decide now. And then run like hell towards those people, experiences, goals, values, projects, ways of being, and paths.