What I Learned from a Near-Death Experience By Marshall Goldsmith...
So, what really matters in life? I can boil the answer to this question down to six major themes:
First a little discussion on the themes.
Wealth – some have more than others, some have less, but most of the people I run across agree that while it can be used to pay for nice homes, fast cars, and fine dining, it can’t purchase meaning. Beyond a middle-income level, the amount of money you have bears little correlation to how happy you are.
Health – is critically important to enjoying life. Good health is a combination of luck, a healthy lifestyle, and medical care.
Relationships – are very important. Everyone I meet clearly values their relationships with friends and family members and sees that these relationships are key to their emotional wellbeing.
Contribution/Achievement – for most of us reading this blog we are fortunate in life and seek to give back, make a positive contribution, even leave a legacy. Helping others as we’ve been helped is important to us.
Meaning – work that has meaning is important to our sense of well being. We want to feel that we are making a real difference in the world.
Happiness – everyone I’ve ever met wants to be happy. True happiness can’t be bought – it has to be lived!
As you contemplate these themes and set your goals for 2015, you might choose to volunteer or work on projects that make the world a better place. You might choose to change to a job or a career where you have more opportunity to serve. For me, I still teach and give classes, but I focus more on advising people how they can have a great rest of their lives rather than just work harder and “make more money.”
Reflecting on life’s purpose should start when you’re young—and never stop. I served on the board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for 10 years, so I had a chance to observe Peter personally. He worked until his death at age 95! He was never interested in retiring. He was interested in working to make the world a better place. Through his example, I learned that making a difference means more than, and is very different from, making a living.
Think about your life. Now’s a great time to start planning the rest of it. How can you make a contribution? How can you find meaning? What will make you happy? How can you make this time count—for yourself, the people around you, and the world?