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“What do I want for the rest of my life?”

I’ve asked myself this question dozens, perhaps hundreds of times for the last 49 years and 364 days. Today started at 3:30 AM Pacific Time with that very question.

But this day was my birthday—another year older (actually, just a day older but who’s counting?).

Most people see aging as a diminishment of “who they were” rather than an unfolding of who they are yet to become. Candidly, I’ve been one of these “most people” at times (I think it started at about forty-nine and a half).

I have lot of diminishments—I sure can’t run as fast as I used to. I can’t do a powerlifting squat worth a damn anymore. I jump about as high as I did in my early teens and it sucks when it comes to sports. To make it worse, as an athlete “the older I get, the better I was” memories make it harder to accept I won’t be turning “pro” anytime soon at anything in sports. Most nights, I have to “try” to sleep, and I take longer to wake-up, warm-up, and put-up than I used to. I have to “think” to remember facts I could recall in nanoseconds in my thirties. The “remind myself” lists now fill a page almost daily.

And a host of other creaks and quirks have crept into my physical and mental being that I don’t remember having fifteen years ago (I could make a list but a catalogue of complaints would serve no useful purpose).

Today, it started with that question…

“What do I want for the rest of my life?”

… and ended with a declaration.

“What I want for the rest of my life is…”

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Perhaps turning 50 today has steered and steadied my focus from the question to the answer.

The unfolding of who I am about to become.

At first, this morning I thought about what I didn’t want for the next 50 years of my life; useful in creating a contrast between “what is” and what I would like to change–useful yes, but inefficient AND ineffective. Then I moved into making a list of things I “could” do. The list was almost overwhelming since I believe we live in a universe of infinite potential and I’ve been blessed with incredible opportunities. Next came the list of “should” do’s—WAY too daunting and it felt more like a necessity than an inspiration of passion and purpose. Finally, I came down to was… THE LIST…

“What I Want for the Rest of My Life…”

No, it wasn’t a goal list. It wasn’t a list of dreams filled with “like-to-have’s” or “want-to-be’s”—or “would-like-to-do’s”. It was a list of what I want, who I will be and what I will do for the next fifty years of my life. A personal promise, a solemn vow…

…A Declaration!

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I worked and I wrote. I got choked-up a few times (I’m not much of a crier), I giggled to myself. I reflected and I wrote some more. I scribbled and I mind-mapped. I added to the list and I scratched stuff out. But, at the end, I had it. What I ended up with was a list of things I will strive for, live for, and maybe even die for. These things will be the overarching guideposts of the next fifty years of my life. It wasn’t simply about receiving; much of it was about giving–giving to others, giving to myself, and giving to a purpose and a cause higher than myself.

You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot about what’s on the list as my list comes to life. I invite you to the unfolding of who I am about to become, but in the meantime, I have a question for you…

What do you want for the rest of your life?

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Tags: Spike Humer, Change, Goals, Decisions, Motivation, Success, Achievement, Mentors, Learning, Self-growth, Leadership