Many goal setting exercises have you look ahead to the winter of your life (sometimes as far as your deathbed) and ask you what you would have hoped to have accomplished by then. The point of it is to get you take a look at your life and see if the things that you’re doing are accomplishing the goals that mean the most to you.
When I’m at the end of my life, I imagine myself looking back at the various chapters of my life with “My Way”, that popular song written by Paul Anka and immortalized by Frank Sinatra, playing in the background.
Certain lyrics from the song stand out in my mind:
- “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.”
- “I did, what I had to do and saw it through, without exemption.”
- “To think, I did all that…”
- “Yes there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew.”
- “But through it all, when there was doubt. I ate it up and spit it out.”
- “I faced it all, and I stood tall.”
- “For what is a man, what has he got. If not himself, then he has naught.”
- “To say the things, he truly feels. And not the words of one who kneels.”
As you can see, I’ve quoted almost the whole song. Each verse is full of inspiration and reminds us to live life to its fullest and live to meet our own goals. Too often, we’re working ourselves to death to meet goals that were given to us by other people (our parents, our bosses, our spouse, etc…). Or we’re working towards a result that seems like the next logical step, but isn’t what we really want.
A classic example comes from the work/life balance dilemma that so many of us face. I often ask young workaholics that work twelve hour days and complain that they don’t have time to spend with their families “when you’re 80, are you going wish you worked more hours or wish you watched your kids grow up?” Sometimes, they try to justify it by saying their success at climbing the corporate ladder provides their family with all the good things in life: a nice home, a good education and dream vacations. I then point out that the one thing they don’t have is a parent to be there to watch them kick the winning goal, win the spelling bee or perform in their school play. It’s a trade off and only we can decide what’s right for our situation.
I came across a video of Tony Robbins where he mentions a guy that attended one of his events said that he was trying to earn $7 million dollars so he could lay on the beach in Fiji (Robbins runs some events from a resort he owns in Fiji). One of the Fijians that worked at Robbins’ resort overheard the conversation and replied “I get to lay on the beach every day and I don’t need even a fraction of a million dollars to do so.” It’s a great example.
So without any further delay, here’s a video tribute to Frank Sinatra set to “My Way.” I hope it will inspire you to make sure that you’re moving in the direction that you truly want to be moving in.