Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why do I have 42 goals?

After the tragically early passing of a friend last year at the very young age of 42, I wrote the number 42 on my hand and kept rewriting it there for days afterwards. I was stunned that someone so vital could have their life cut short at such a young age.

Right now, I have the number 42 on the side of my laptop, always in sight. It’s not there to be macabre, it’s not even just there to remind me of this fabulous man I knew.

42 reminds me that:

1. I probably won’t have much of a say in when my last day on earth will come (difficult for a control freak).

2. That day could come when I’m in my 80’s ( or it may come sooner or later, either way, see point 1.

3. When that day comes, I do not want to look back and say “I wish I’d done…” or “if only…” or “why didn’t I make time to…”.

So often people ask me about how to set goals for themselves. When it comes to life’s larger goals, I use 42 and ask myself the question: “If I could transport myself forward in time to my last day on earth, what are the things I would have liked to accomplish during that time?”

When you ask yourself that question, often you’ll find a list of life goals will simply flow.

To check out one man’s adventurous search for goal achievement in his life head to:

To listen to a truly inspiring speech entitled “the last lecture” by Dr. Randy Pausch often spoken of as “the dying man who is teaching people to live” head here

To see what short term goal I just achieved, check out

If your goals includes travel, you might enjoy:

To see how I keep track of my goals: and check out the final blog of “the world’s” oldest blogger, who lived and blogged into her 106th year before her passing on the 12th of July 2008.

Postscript: I wrote this blog last week, and then this week I was sadly informed of a distant friend, a father of two young boys, who passed of cancer at age 33. I’ve held the blog back, not even sure that I wanted to print it given the recent news. But then a conversation with this man’s close friend showed me that I needed to print this. In his last months, knowing that his last day might be very soon, this father of two took his family away and they enjoyed the trip of life time. They really lived, loved and enjoyed his last few months. My wish for each of you reading this is that you can look back and say that you truly lived as many of the months in your life as possible. Don’t wait until an illness makes you realise your mortality, 42 and now 33 remind me of that each day.

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