Are You Doing The Important Stuff?

(Photos from Northern Thailand)


There was a question that I read recently that provokes thought. The question is ” If you could live forever, would you and why? On the surface of things immortality would be an interesting concept if you could return to the fountain of youth as it were. Just imagine on reaching your 80th birthday you were then automatically returned to age 18 where you now had all the knowledge, experience and wisdom to have another go. Would you do anything different? If so what would you change about your life? Surely it would all become  a lot easier a second time around with the wisdom you have acquired.

If not going straight back to 18, then perhaps we could take the preferential route of Mark Twain. Twain who was not in favour of immortality, but believed that the eight decades would be better arranged in reverse. This would mean being born at age 80 and getting younger.

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”Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty

and gradually approach eighteen”  – Mark Twain

No Regrets

Either way the main objective is to have lived a full life and leave this world without regrets. A good exercise for this is to imagine oneself as an 80-year-old man or woman looking back over your own life. It’s a great way to put pen to paper or open word and design the years from the age you are now up until 75 – 80 years old. For example at the moment I am 49 years old, so I would work out the next 25 – 30 years. The visionary objective here is to design this time as though you had already lived it. In the exercise you are now looking back on a brilliant time span living a life that’s in line with your values and free of any regret. Now go and live it.


”If you don’t design your own life plan,

chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.

And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

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This concept also rears its ugly head when you are locked in to reputation instead of life. There was an essay I read recently in the book ” Faking It In Bangkok ” by Christopher G. Moore. The essay is called ”The Million – Dollar Man In Bangkok ” Not only is the essay in the book, but this one is also available below on Christopher Moore’s blog.

Excerpt From ” The Million – Dollar Man In Bangkok” by Christopher G. Moore.

” Robert had become someone who couldn’t quit the rat race because of his dependency on others to confirm his value, identity, and work day schedule. Without the clients, he’d be lost. It wasn’t just the money. It was the fear of the emptiness to fill if the clients no longer called”

Christopher G. Moore is the author of the award-winning Vincent Calvino crime fiction series, International crime author and Bangkok resident for more than 25 years. Christopher has written almost as many novels as years lived in Bangkok and gives valuable and unique insights in to Thai culture through his essays. The essay explains the concept I refer to perfectly and looks at the mindset of life outside the rat race. There are plenty more quality essay’s on his blog and even more in the book.


Important Versus Urgent

Perhaps Robert had lived his life-like so many of us do by answering the call of what’s urgent instead of what’s important. The key point is very much about designing what’s important in your life and this can be done by prioritising. That’s prioritising values and goals. Usually values are a subject which are touched on, but never really investigated properly. That was until Steve Pavlina got talking about the subject.

Excerpt From ”Living Your Values, Part 1” by Steve Pavlina

”Values are priorities that tell you how to spend your time, right here, right now. There are two reasons that priorities are important for our lives.”

Read the article here

From reading part 1 you can also go on to part 2 and read the full list of values which can assist with gaining clarity about what’s most important in your life.

Find out more about Steve Pavlina and his site here

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When our values are in place and we have worked out what’s important to us perhaps it’s time to slow down, smell the roses and take it easy. This might be the popular opinion, but not according to Chris Guillebeau at The Art Of Non – Conformity. Chris wrote an article called ” There’s Plenty Of Time.” (But What If There’s Not?)

Excerpt From ”There’s Plenty Of Time.” (But What If There’s Not?) by Chris Guillebeau

”A common scenario involves imagining that today was your last day on earth: What would you do if this was it? You have only one day to live ”

Read the article here×5/plenty-of-time/

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Find out more about Chris,the blog and the project below – including how he visited every country in the world between 2002 – 2013 – quite incredible.

So for less stress, more balance and more pleasure in life, it certainly pays dividends to figure out what’s important in your life.

2 thoughts on “Are You Doing The Important Stuff?

  1. Chris Guillebeau came to Santa Cruz, Ca and spoke one summer when I was there to talk about his book, The $100 Start Up. I didn’t go. Why? Because I had started up my own online start-up business for $80 7 years earlier. But Chris is a lot smarter (and richer) than me. I should have written the book ;o) Thanks for this one, Trevor. It caught me at a time I needed to hear it. I’ve been floundering a bit. Time to get back on track … to matters that matter. Life is short. Cheers.

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