What Matters.

April 6, 2011

I gave a lot of thought before I wrote this post because I know that talking about life and death can make a lot of people uncomfortable. However, I received a lot of positive feed back about my post on Visioning and wanted to continue the conversation a bit.

I have been working a lot of personal and professional goals and I am trying to share my experience to help other people take a somewhat strategic approach to life. Thanks to Jody Urquhhart (and Michael McCurry who has been telling me to for ages) I finally subscribed to Michael Hyatt’s blog this weekend. As I did so, I found his ebook on Creating a Personal Life Plan. I immediately downloaded it, printed it and have begun using it as a guide for my own personal direction

The timing of this could not have been better. On Monday, I attended a grave-side memorial. This was not someone close to me so I was not in a grieving state. Instead, I observed the tombstones in the cemetery. I saw words like mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, friend, daughter, son. Missing were words like influencer, guru, expert, and rockstar. I didn’t even see things like doctor, lawyer or accountant. Nope, none of these things were listed on the graves of people that had passed. To the people who loved them they were just a parent, spouse or sibling. What they did in this world didn’t really matter in the end….or did it?

This has me thinking about my personal life plan. Does it matter if I write a book? Does it matter if blog everyday? Does it matter if I work on inspiring others to help make their lives better? The more I think about it I think that the answer is yes. My goal is to be the best person that I can be and to make an impact where I can. My goal is to be happy and to some extent what I do plays a role in my happiness.

I am currently reading The Happiness Project which is about Gretchen Rubin’s  year-long journey to improve her happiness. I admire Gretchen for her book, yet I can hardly relate to any of the things that make her happy. This was an awakening for me as I discovered that I think that I already know what makes me happy, that the things that make me happy are unique to me, and that I need to start doing more of what makes me happy.

So if what I “do” makes me happy is that how I want to be remembered? Will I be remembered that way? Is what I do, who I am?

I ask these questions not for myself, but for you.  Do you define yourself by who you are or by what you do or are they one in the same? Are you the same person in your professional life as you are in your personal life or are those lines too blurred to even know the difference?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and how you go about planning your life, if you do at all.