Seems so obvious to say that one of the mission-critical moves for enduring success is to build your daily life around your deepest priorities.
Seems like such a platitude to offer that there’s no point in spending your finest hours climbing mountains, only to realize that at the end of the quarter/year/decade/life you climbed the wrong ones.
Seems so common to suggest that it’s foolish to invest your best days pursuing ideals that later turn out to be success according to someone else’s definition rather than your own.
But in this Age of Dramatic Distraction–where so many of us are in a constant state of relentless stimulation over things that–ultimately–will have amounted to nothing, this way of thinking is rare.
And for a lot of us, it takes a defining event like the loss of a loved one or a personal brush with death to wake us up…
…to what matters most.
It happened to Ted Leonsis, the Vice-Chairman of Groupon…
Ted’s a smart and ultra-successful man.
He used to run AOL. He owns NHL, NBA and WNBA teams. He writes good books. And, from all accounts, he’s a decent person.
And his “101 Things to Do Before I Die” list is pretty well known.
Leonsis was on a flight a few years ago when the pilot announced something none of us ever wants to hear on a flight: that the plane was in serious trouble, all recovery measures had failed and all passengers had 35 minutes left to live.
So Leonsis prepared to die.
And as he did, he reflected on what truly mattered. On all the potential he still had left to spend, on all the achievements he still had left to do and on all the joys he still had left to experience.
Fortunately, the plane didn’t crash.
Shortly after it landed, Leonsis took out a piece of paper and scribbled the 101 goals he promised himself he’d reach before the end of his life. These included:
–fall in love and get married
–take care of in-laws
–have children become self-actualized
–have a net worth of 100M
–create the world’s largest media company
–own a yacht
–own a Ferrari
–change someone’s life via a charity
–own a sports franchise
–go to Alaska
–go to Bali
–write a book
–swim with dolphins
–help someone who innovates in science
So far, Leonsis has managed to check off 74 out of his 101 “To Dos Before I Die”…
…and live a life he loves.
So may I suggest, that in this world where so many people are following the herd and swiftly moving in circles, you rise from the crowd and get uber-clear on what you really want your days to stand for–by writing your own “101 Things To Do Before I Die” list.
And above all else, then start living it. Today.