There’s no Question and Answer this week. Because what I want to write about is of a most serious nature. The husband of my oldest friend in the whole world was diagnosed with late-stage brain cancer just a short time ago. Of course he fought hard but today we mourn his passing and celebrate his life. And it brings into focus a much bigger point that must be made. How exactly are we living our lives? What are putting off until tomorrow? In my book, An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By, the entire first chapter is about living today like we’re going to die tomorrow. In honor of my friend and her husband, please allow me to excerpt a few thoughts on this subject from my book.

A goldfish will only grow as large as the container in which it lives.  Humans are no different. Living today like you’re going to die tomorrow is all about capacity. By definition capacity is the ability to receive or contain. Most people will tell you to live life to your full capacity – regardless of its size. Truly amazing success comes not when you fulfill your capacity but expand and surpass it.  You have to get a bigger fishbowl.  But how?

1.    Create a sense of urgency in your work life and in your personal life. Become much more adept at planning and time management. In turn you will become more proficient at prioritizing. Remember that you are doing this not just to live to your capacity for life, but to expand your capacity for life and then live to it.

2.    Learn how to live in the moment. The past is good for pleasant memories and as a learning tool. The future may never come. Tend to your priorities. If attending your son’s little league baseball game is a priority, then by all means, be there. If participating in a brainstorm session with your work colleagues is a priority, focus on doing your part in the brainstorm.

3.    Don’t worry. Think about and find solutions for what you can control and ignore the rest.

4.    Eliminate the propensity for procrastination by making certain that you clearly understand your goals and objectives. Then identify and prioritize the tasks that must be completed to achieve your goal. This makes it hard to put off doing what needs to be done.

5.    Become aware of unnecessary actions and wasted motion in your life. Then look for ways to replace them with greater productivity which is another way to expand your capacity for life.

6.    Understand that quality downtime is critical to being able to live in a healthy and productive manner. You are no good to yourself or the people who depend upon you if you burn out.

7.    Make an inventory of what your family and business associates would need in the event that you die. Then, take the steps to put your affairs in order. This will give you the peace of mind to live each moment to the fullest.

The question I ask myself at the end of every day before I go to sleep is, “Do I have any regrets?” I am so blessed because I can honestly answer this question with “No.” I believe that my friend and her husband would also answer it the same way. Can you?

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.


No Crystal Ball Needed

Question: I’m not sure what the future holds. How do I deal with the uncertainty?

Answer: No crystal ball is needed. Write your own obituary.

Now I know you’re wondering what this has to do with peering into the future. Stay with me and I’ll show you how. The future is only uncertain to the extent that we allow it to be. In reality we can shape the future if we have vision. I define “vision” as “what it looks like when we get there.” In other words, to what exactly do we aspire? How many years from now will it be before we accomplish our goals?

To be a successful entrepreneur and to succeed in life, we must have vision. Floating along the river of life may work for some people, but for most entrepreneurs we need more clarity. Developing a vision can provide definition and lucidity. Which brings us to the obituary. I know suggesting that you write your own obituary may feel more than just a bit awkward and maybe even a touch morbid. But if you do it correctly it will be a very eye-opening exercise. What you are doing is looking back at the life you will have lived and envision how you want it to have been.

Avoid the shallow objectives such as, “he was the best father he could be,” or “she lived life to the fullest.” While there is nothing wrong with these statements, don’t we want our lives to be deeper and more meaningful than that? Ultimately you will write a strong and powerful statement about the life you want to have lived. From your future “obituary” you will begin to see the vision of what you want your life to become.

Once we create our vision we can develop strategies that will deliver that vision. And then we are able to shape our future, eliminate the uncertainty and move forward with confidence to purposefully pursue our passions.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.