Before you die,you must do the following things.
Happy new year 2016.I hope you all had a great 2015 where you accomplished some or all of your goals.
I had taken time off this blog and writing in general due to events that happened in my life.
I utilized this time off to reflect on some of my life goals and what I want to achieve in my life before my time on this earth is up.
I was moving to a new place in July 2015 and as I was cleaning and getting rid of some paperwork that had accumulated for several years,I came across a paper that I wrote in college.
In one of my business leadership classes,the professor had asked us to write our own eulogy.He wanted us to reflect on how we would want to be remembered and the things that people will say about us when we died.
For a lot of people thinking or talking about one’s death is a scary thing, and in some cultures it’s a taboo.In my own culture there is a belief that talking about one’s death is as good as inviting it.
To me this exercise was one of my best reflections about my life and future- and how I wanted to live it.
Below are 7 things we need to think about and do before we die.
1.LEAVE A POSITIVE LEGACY
Legacy is defined as something that you leave behind when you die.It could be something tangible (Money, property) or Intangible (Love,respect ,integrity)
The comedian Chris Rock once joked that many parents are known to leave bills instead of wills when they die.Which one will you leave behind?Do you want to be a burden to those you leave behind when they have to raise money for your funeral or hospital bills you leave behind?
We all need to have a plan in place to ensure a lasting legacy to those we leave behind.
2.GET LIFE INSURANCE
If you have people who depend on you especially kids – make sure they will be well taken care of by getting a life insurance.Most healthy adults can get inexpensive life insurance as low as $10 a month.Make sure the amount you get is adequate for the needs of your loved ones who will be left without your income.
3.WRITE A WILL
Also make sure you have a mechanism left behind on how the assets you leave behind are distributed by having a will and power of attorney.This prevents confusion and fighting between your loved ones on how to distribute your assets.There are several places that you can get a will prepared inexpensively.One place you can go to is www.rocketlawyer.com.
You can store the will in a bank safe or with your lawyer,but make sure your loved ones know exactly where everything is located for easy access to the information.
4.HAVE A VISION /GOALS
What are some of the things you want to accomplish in your life?Start a business?Write a book?Travel?Save and invest?Live a healthy lifestyle? What is stopping you from starting or achieving those goals?Is it lack of commitment,procrastination or laziness?
Les Brown,a renowned speaker once said that the richest place on earth is not the diamond mines of South Africa or the gold safes of Fort Knox but the graveyard,because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step.
So don’t worry about failure,worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.
5.SHARE AND KEEP A RECORD OF YOUR THOUGHTS
When you write down or record your thoughts,It becomes easier to refer back when you need the information and you can share your thoughts with others.I choose this blog as a place where I can express my thoughts, share and teach others what I know.
I also hope that in the future when I am no longer here and the internet is still around,many people can access and gain from this information.
Other ways to express your thoughts are writing a book,keeping a journal / diary,recording music,recording podcasts and videos.With the internet it has become easy for us to produce,share and store information.There are no limits to your imagination.
There is an african proverb that says each one should teach one.Each one of us has a talent or skill that can be shared or taught to others.
6.LIVE WITH INTEGRITY
Your character and principles will define how people remember you.What are the words that will be used to describe your character?How do we remember Martin Luther King jr? Mandela? Gandhi?Hitler?
Will you leave this world a little better or worse than you found it?Will you be remembered for your humanity or evil? For helping or oppressing others?
We all have a choice to make.Will your absence leave a gap and be felt by people or will they be glad that you are gone.
7.HAVE BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE
A study was done of dying people who had three to twelve weeks to live, where they were asked if they had any regrets about how they lived their life.One common regret amongst them was that they wished they never worked so hard whereby the missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
When Steve Jobs was battling cancer,he was quoted as saying that with all the money he had accumulated and the things he could buy,the one thing he couldn’t do is pay someone to get sick on his behalf.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
I hope you all have a prosperous 2016 and the courage to follow your dreams!!