Start with The End in Mind
Steven Covey wrote that it is important to know where you are going before you start your journey. He suggests that you imagine that you walk into a church, you hear the organ music, you see the people there. You notice your friends and family as you walk down the aisle. You listen to what is being said about the person in the coffin. You reach the coffin and see a photograph on top, a photograph of you.
He then suggests that you think about what you would want people to say about you at the end of your life. What would you want your loved ones to say, your friends, your work colleagues. What would you want them to remember you as. A good, caring, loving, funny partner or friend. A supportive father or mother etc.
This kind of exercise can help you think about what is really important to you and what you would want to spend your time being. You can ask to what extent you are living your life the way that is really important to you.
A colleague told me a story, she didn't know where it came from...
There was a man sitting on the beach on a fine sunny day, he was fishing, his children were running around laughing and his wife was enjoying the sun. From their clothing it looked as if they were poor. A tourist started a conversation with the man. He said if you had a boat and a net you could catch more fish and feed your family all week with one trip, and if you made several trips you could sell the surplus. The fisherman said "and then what". The tourist said well you could buy more boats and employ people to fish and you could make even more money. "And then what said the fisherman", you cold buy boats that could go on to the ocean and catch even more fish to sell, you would have a fleet of boats and many people working for you, you would be rich. "And then what" said the fisherman and the tourist replied "You could sell your business and retire so that you could spend more time with your family".
I probably haven't told the story exactly the same way she did, but I think you will see the moral of the story.
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