You must really want to get your shit together and become a badass or something.
Some people get a little sick to their stomach when they see the list of incomplete things.
I never really saw the importance of this exercise until April, 2018.
For about 2 weeks prior to hospice helping my dad slip into a coma, he kept randomly saying weird shit like…
“What about the swing set?”
“Oh, that goddamn puzzle.”
“Gotta fix that door.”
On April 18, his final day, I sat next to him listening to him moan in pain with each breath.
My mind replayed the time I’d spent with him over those 47 days, the years we shared the trailer, the years we spent apart, and the years before that.
All of a sudden, I realized that those random things he kept mentioning was part of his brain processing his death.
He knew he was dying and he had a list of things he’d not done.
Now, sitting next to him, knowing he’d never wake up, and listening to him moan, I didn’t think I could handle watching him suffer another day.
So, I leaned into his ear and whispered to him….
“Dad.. I can’t do this any more. It’s time for you to go. You’re not going to be able to get better and I know you want to stay and do some things”
I repeated his list back to him and I told him some of those items are going to be left undone, and told him the items that I would make sure got finished.
I promised him to write a book for him, and buy a restaurant and name it after him.
I’m not sure if he heard me. But, I needed a break. Ten hours at his bedside was a lot to handle.
A few hours later, he breathed his last breath.
A few weeks later, I arrived in Frisco, Texas to start a new chapter of my life.
It still feels weird to live on a planet without him, but I refuse to lose the lessons.
When I started pulling myself back together, I realized that I did not want to die like that, so I made my own list of ‘Loose Ends’.
It was eye opening to see how much energy is wasted on shit that doesn’t matter…. conversations from the past, people’s opinions of me, possible failure in the future…. the list goes on for days.
We need closure.
Look at your list.
You probably have some stuff in Physical, Relationships, Emotional, Logical, Financial areas of your life.
Go through your list and prioritize the biggest energy robbers you have.
What we want to do here is use the 80/20 Rule (Paraeto’s principle) to identify the biggest things that bother you.
We could go a level deeper and turn it into 4/64, but 80/20 your loose ends is a good start.
The 80/20 Rules states that 80% of your Results stem from 20% of your actions.
If you identify the 20% of the actions and just focus there, you’ll be a LOT more efficient in life.
Now look at your list.
20% of that list causes you 80% of the mental burden.
Identify those biggest energy drainers now, and then choose to either consciously let them go, or do something to fix it.
Some of the items like yard work, or home repair you can choose to hire it out if you must, but you’ll be better served to put those items on a list of things to do.
The point of this course is to help you stop shooting yourself in the foot and get moving in some sort of positive direction.
List the things that need closure and put a note next to them about possible solutions.
If it’s out of your control, then figure out a way to get closure.
If it’s in your control, then figure out one tiny step you can take in a positive direction.
Think through the list in the context of biggest return on your investment; the investment here is your attention (the most precious resource in the universe).
Start with you.
- How’s your health? Schedule a physical. Get medical advice. Longevity and mobility in your twilight years should be a focus.
- How’s your mental health? Get help if you need it. Medication might be useful. Meditation probably would help too. Mindfulness can become a way of life. Making time for your own hobbies will go a long way as well.
- How’s your Relationships? Focus on your inner circle first. Expand it to your family, friends, coworkers/employees, neighbors, etc.
- Are you good at relationships? What are some skills you could practice to be better?
- How about money? Where you at with that? Are you prepared for the economy to crash?
- Are you paying attention to technology and how the world is transforming? If not… you should.
I’m willing to bet, that there are gaps in your knowledge and skills somewhere in your life right now, that you can take control over.
Now that you have all of your lists, it’s much easier to prioritize what needs to be done.
Now you can start changing a few little things here and there.
Focus on getting just 1% better on a weekly basis.
Look at your life each day and think…
What’s one thing I can do better tomorrow?
You’ll be surprised at the progress you can make.
Hope this helps.