Human beings are storytellers. We’ve been passing on our histories since our ancestors scratched the original picture books on cave walls. As a species we want to leave our mark, to let future generations know we were here. That is the power of story.
The two most important days in your life:
- The day you were born
- The day you find out why
Usually the day you were born is recorded in a family bible and in county records, but recording why you were born is up to you. Genealogy will trace your ancestry, but genealogy only shows the lineage. Your story gives texture and depth. As you write stories from your memories, more will come and soon your story plot (your reason for being here) will reveal itself. You will understand the purpose of your life, and you can pass on those contributions, values and lessons to the others who follow in your line.
We are living longer and longer. “Retirement” is more than playing bridge, starting up a small business or going fishing. The fourth chapter of our lives is meant to be savored through reflection and consideration. We have the opportunity to understand the meaning of life and our place in it.
An unexamined life is inexcusable. In fact, according to Socrates, "An unexamined life is not worth living." However, when we reflect on our lives, we can see the personal and spiritual growth that fuels our joie de vivre. Take some time to review your life so that rather than stumbling through life, you live with purpose.
Look at where you are in life, whether in your second, third or fourth act, and answer this: What would you do if you knew nothing could stop you? I have asked myself that question and I’m living my answer. I plan to finish strong.
What about you?