Almost everyone I know has a "to do" list and they update it at least once a day if not more. It's full of things that have to get accomplished, places to go, items to pick up, people you want to eat with etc.
Busy, busy, busy. "Life is so complicated" - that seems to be this generation's mantra. But is it really as complicated as we make it? Does it have to be? I, personally, do NOT think it has to be so complicated. But am I an expert at uncomplicating it? Unfortunately no.
However, I do know that one way we can make it more meaningful is to work just as hard on a daily "To Be" list as we do on our daily "To Do" list.
The recent shooting at the Navy Yard has had a significant impact on me because it's so recent and perhaps, because that is where I spent the last 9 years of my Navy career. The other mass shootings and tragedies we've had have been important too but I think I was in this particular place right now for many other reasons. Different events impact us in different ways based on how our lives are going in general.
What I started to think about and realize after this latest mess was that those people who were shot got up, ate breakfast, maybe worked out, got ready for work and traveled there - some maybe dreading the drudgery of the day, some maybe dreading the day because of boredom and wanting to be retired or someplace else, some just wanting to get thru the day to get it over with, some just too exhausted to think about anything, some not even thinking about work but too sad and depressed to care, some happy about life and looking forward to the evening or the weekend, etc etc.
But their lives were suddenly cut short.
What would you think about your life up to this point if it ended unexpectedly today? You may not have achieved all your goals but would that change what would be your epitaph?
Why not start making a daily "To Be" list.
Include things like:
- "I am happy today"
- "I am pleasant to everyone today"
- "I make at least one (or two or three - you pick) people smile today"
- "I help another person in some way today"
- "I want to be there for someone who needs me today - or for someone who needs support"
Put down what it is you want to be - how you want to be remembered.
This list might also include ways you want to feel that day - happy instead of sad, in the moment instead of just waiting til closing time, etc.
This may seem a bit difficult initially but if you make it a practice everyday it will become as automatic as your "To Do" list.
Try it this week - but don't just make the list, "BE" what you wrote!
Let us know what happens. Does it change your feelings about your day? What else?