Everytime I drive past a cemetery, here’s what happens. I keep my right foot on the gas pedal and think two things:
- Life is short. One day, I’ll be there too
- Dang, I wonder how much money all these people spent on clothes, lotions, and keeping up their appearances
These thoughts aren’t particularly useful but they got me thinking about a simple concept. We’ll call it the “Useful Life”. For most of us, this is the time from the day we’re born to the day we turn 60 (if we’re lucky). It’s the time when our knees still work, our synapses can still handle mental algebra, and the thought of flying half way around the world to tell somebody about Jesus is not a big deal at all. It’s a time of life when, all else remaining equal, we still stand a chance of providing some kind of tangible value to mankind.
A 16 year old high school kid has already consumed almost a third of his Useful Life. A 23 year old college graduate has put almost 40% of her Useful Life behind her—which is why I find it difficult to respect graduation speeches that tell students it’s time to enter “the real world”. What’s a college campus? Disney Land? I digress…the point is, your age doesn’t matter but your Useful Life most certainly does.
This picture lights a fire under my butt…it should light one under yours too.
One of Many Things
Some 40-something and 50-something year olds will read this post and go: “Oh crap, Kola. My time is almost up!”. Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re wrong. Either way, here’s one of many things that need to happen:
When you figure out what your big McDreamy “I must do this before I die” goal is, do 1 thing every single day that will move you in that direction. Some days you’ll do something really big and gutsy…like going back to school. On other days, you’ll do something as simple as forgiving your great grand aunt’s cousin’s step children for what they did. The critical thing is to do something everyday because anything that doesn’t get fed eventually dies. Action is the food for ambition. Do something that means something to you every single day.
So tell me, have you calculated what’s left of your Useful Life? And most importantly, what’s the one thing you’ll do today to feed your ambition? Let’s talk. Leave a comment below.