My life has been opportunistic, to put it positively. Haphazard to be less generous. In spite of that it’s been very good for me. I do live my life like a dog walking through the woods. It definitely hasn’t been a straight line. I check out everything I can. Most things I like and some things I don’t. Everything is interesting at least for a moment. All that being said, there seems to be some advantage to being more purposeful, but this is where all the interesting numbers in the universe become ratios. You can’t have an advantage without a reference. An advantage in this case means that one course in life provides a set of more desirable outcomes than a different course in life. Clearly I’m pondering different courses in life. I do frequently because it’s part of that exploration and discovery and adventure, if you read my tagline. I’m also pondering what it means to have different courses in life. We have choice and we can believe, at least, that we can be intentional about life.1
Projects are activities with intentional outcomes. One way to structure a project is to “begin with the end in mind”. A kind of end to life is your funeral after you die.2 What might I like people to say about me at my funeral?3
- He helped me to understand things better. He had an interesting way of looking at things that helped me. He could see things that others couldn’t or didn’t. He helped me to think things through more effectively.
- He was a good friend. He was a good dad/grandpa/brother/son. He was generous. He was helpful. He was available. He was fun. He brought joy. I was happy with the time I spent with him. I was happy to be associated with him.
- He changed the world. The world is a better place because he was here. … at least a little bit.
- He will be remembered. He wasn’t a waste.
I don’t know that this list is complete, correct, or representative, but it’s a place to start and good to think about. I’m pretty sure that this overstates what people might say about me today. This gives me something to work on. Enter, “Life as a Project”; a collection of thoughts about how I might live life more intentionally. To follow along click on the “Life as a Project” tag. This is the first post, but hopefully not the last. … Squirrel! …
- Some theories assert that every choice point spawns a parallel universe for each option. I guess in this case it’s hard to be intentional since we would in fact be living all possible lives. Hmmm, there was that time when I met these two women in a hot tub… no, no don’t go there. 😉 ↩
- Another kind of end of life is when you are no longer remembered, but it’s not clear that this is helpful here. ↩
- By the way, in no way am I trying to prime the outcome. If I happen to have a funeral and you happen to be there, please say whatever you wish or nothing at all. This list is just to drive the thought experiment and works for me. ↩