19 March 2008

30 Days to Live

This weekend, while I was flying back to Illinois to finish up the semester, I spent alot of time in the airport (like 17 hours). Since I love bookstores, I was able to camp out in a bookstore in Salt Lake City, Dallas, and St. Louis. I came across a book entitled "30 Days to Live," written by Kerry Shook and Chris Shook. I didn't purchase the book, but I did flip through it several times and there were a few topics that got me thinking...which is probably the point of the book.

Live in the Moment

The book asks "What is the one thing you would do, if you had 30 days to live?" This is definitely something that I need to think long and hard about because I have SO many things that I want to do before I die. However, the point of this exercise is to really narrow down what is most important, and then here comes the important point...take ACTION. This step also requires that you begin living in the moment, which is something that I struggle with. I forget to enjoy the moment because I'm looking forward to the next one, so perhaps I need to just worry about how to live in the moment and to just "Be" instead of thinking ahead so much.

Live for Eternity

The next step involves the idea of spending your time on the things that are truly most important. I think that alot of times our time is taken up by mundane minutiae that don't matter at all. Sometimes we worry so much about accomplishing the things on our "to do" list that we forget to focus on the most important things. The book had a few suggestions on this topic including:

  • Simplify your life so that you spend your time on things that truly matter, like the key relationships you are involved in and the things that you really enjoy and give purpose to your life.
  • Ask yourself whether or not you’re spending your time accordingly. Are you really spending your time the way you want to or are you spending your time doing alot of the "should" stuff.
  • Ask yourself whether your actions line up with your words. Are you living the life that you are meant to live? Do others see what's important to you and that those important things are a part of your daily life?

Leave a Legacy

The final task in this activity is to decide what type of legacy you want to leave. What do you want people to know and find a way to impart that knowledge? This idea reminds me of "The Last Lecture" idea that I posted earlier in the blog. What do I want my family and friends to remember about me and how can I let them know those things? Being a professor, I personally lean towards that last lecture sort of idea, but there are other ways to convey this information. The book also suggested reminding yourself of the legacy you want to leave and then begin living transparently so that the people around you know what you want them to know about you. Perhaps that means looking at how you personally can impact/change the world. This is something that truly captures me and gives me alot to think about. I think this also means that you should strive to discover your passion and find ways to share your passion with others and to help them discover their own passions.

I haven't had alot of time to really sit down and think about all of my own answers to the questions this book posed. I think this is definitely a topic to think about during my longer runs and rides. I do think the book definitely raised some important questions that all of us might benefit from thinking about, which is why I thought I'd post this... Happy thinking!