Life is short, as you know. Sometimes when I help clients plan their legacy, they muse, "Is life really short, or is it that planning one’s legacy makes you realize life is finite?" If we lived twice as long would we be just as likely to feel that life is short?
I’m a father of two daughters who made me see that life actually is short. For example, the time between ages 2 and 10 when holidays are magical for them, made me realize that I got to watch my girls experience that magic 9 or 10 times. If I had 9 or 10 potato chips, or 9 or 10 movies to choose from, it’s not a lot.
Does it make any difference to know how short life is?
Yes, because often its shortness takes us by surprise. We take things for granted, and then they're gone. We think we can always hike that trail, or go on that trip, or visit someone, and then one day, the window closes. After my father died, I realized I lived as if he'd always be here. I reflect on all the things we could’ve done but didn't. I see many of my clients making this same mistake.
For me, it’s made an impact. When I find myself thinking that life is too short for something, I try to eliminate it. But it’s not always easy to eliminate the daily flurry of errands, unnecessary meetings, petty disputes, red tape, mistakes, traffic jams, and “obligatory” activities.
I try to help my clients actively seek out things that matter most to them. One way of determining what truly matters is to ask yourself whether you'll care about it 5 years from now. Or ask yourself, “Is this how I want to spend my time?” The things that matter aren't necessarily the ones you may think are "important." I tell my clients they can guard themselves from falsely “important” things that trick us into wasting our days if they cultivate a habit of impatience to plan for the things they most want to do.
I tell them not to wait to do their more that matters. Relentlessly prune the unimportant. Pause to savor life. Don't delay. . .
People often don’t realize how they can build a legacy of their values, influence, and money. Greg Hammond’s book, “You Can Do More That Matters” reveals how you can grow and preserve your wealth, plan for retirement, LIVE MORE and GIVE MORE. Get the book FREE. www.domorethatmatters/free.