I regularly consider the question: “If I look back when I’m 80 years old, will I regret not having done this?”
It’s been a helpful perspective that has helped me gain clarity on some key decisions in my life: whether to make a career change, completing long-term goals (versus starting but not finishing), investing time to learn a new skill or craft, and deciding whether to spend money on a big travel experience.
These can be important decisions – they are choices whether and how to fulfill our dreams for ourselves.
But a recent conversation with a friend opened a new perspective: “When I’m on my deathbed, what are the things I’ll remember?”
For me those answers nearly all include my children, my family and close friends, and shared experiences when we were building something together. ‘Building something’ could mean we were building a house (with my family) or a fort in the backyard (with my kids) or a song (with my band mates) or a cool product (with my coworkers). Turns out these are my passions – building stuff with other people and in the process building bonds between people – building community.
Now there’s a new filter for evaluating decisions…
- Does this align with what I wish my myself or others?
- Does this align with my passions?
Ask yourself those questions and see what comes up for you.