A few years ago I was taught an idea that resonated with my way of thought. Since then, it has grown in strength and is now a defining feature of my personal philosophy of life.

So, “What is it?”, you say. Well, in effect, it is entitled ‘The old man in me’.

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Imagine yourself lying in your deathbed, perhaps 90 years old, fully lucid and with all your mental faculties intact. Imagine looking back over your life, the events and people within, and the journey that you took to become the person you are today. Undoubtedly, it will not be what you envisaged all those years ago when you were, lets say, in your 20’s. But is it a journey that you would be proud of? Or shamed by? Will you be comfortable with the legacy and memory that you will soon be leaving behind? Will your descendants be proud to say “That was my Grandparent!”,  or would they prefer to never be associated to you?
Assuming that you (the reader) are like most people, then with the knowledge, experience and wisdom a 90 year old will have, what advice would you give to your 20 year-old self, in order to ensure that that 20 year old lives life to their fullest potential, and at their end is loved and respected by those that matter?

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I find that this idea is a good way to evaluate whether the path you are currently on is actually the right path for you. For example; next time an opportunity arises, will you choose to take it, or leave it?
Think forward to that deathbed. Will you wish that you had taken it, or that you had passed it by?
Will you regret causing the possible outcomes of taking that opportunity… or regret missing it, thereby causing the outcomes of a missed chance…?
(Note: the outcomes haven’t yet occurred, so they may not be what is expected. However, life’s experience may have placed you in a position to assess the likely outcomes… but what if this is an opportunity to do something new…? )
What about how you treat others? Your loved ones, your peers, your colleagues. Will you be proud of your behaviour towards them?
What about your job(s), your travels, your health, your financial astuteness, your personal pursuits and hobbies, the way you presented yourself in both manner and appearance…, etc.

There are many areas of life that we deal with on a day-to-day basis without really realising, quite simply because they are each an integral part of our lives.

But my question is: have your ever taken a step back to see if you are doing something by indoctrinated habit, or if you actually feel that you are doing these things in a way that you will be proud of in years to come?

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