As I pulled into work a couple of mornings ago, a story on NPR piqued my interest just before I turned off the radio. Intrigued, I thought about it off and on all day, even though I had only heard the first few sentences. It stayed with me long enough that I finally went to the NPR website to hear the rest.
In essence, the story described an end-of-life coping therapy built upon the dying person telling the story of his life. I’m not dying (as far as I know), but it made me think about what I would put in my story. Then it made me think of what I want to be part of my story that hasn’t happened yet. What do I want to accomplish? What legacy do I want to leave for my children? How do I want to be remembered?
The question that followed stopped me in my tracks: What do I need to do to make it happen? That question won’t leave me alone; I’ve carried it around for two days, like a small child clinging to my leg. I’m over 40 years old. There are some things in my life that I’ve made happen, but there are many more things that I’ve let happen. If I want to direct my story rather than simply reporting my story, I need to become more deliberate about the things I have yet to achieve.
I could write my life story today. That stuff has already happened. More interesting, and potentially more impactful, is the part of my life that’s still in front of me–and figuring out how to get there from here.
Write your life story, but don’t sit around waiting for it to happen.
P.S. If you’re interested in the NPR piece, click here.