If you were at the end of your life, perhaps in your 80s or so, what would you like to look back at, and fondly remember? In other words, design an ideal life from that perspective — what do you want your experience of existence to have been?
I think first and foremost, my best-friend has always played a primary role in my life. Even before I met her, I could palpably sense her absence. For the first two decades, it felt like something was missing — and when she finally showed up, I felt relief. So I’d like to fondly look back at that friendship: the laughs and adventures, the places we went, our comical “struggles” to navigate life, our marriage, and our role as parents — all that stuff. I’d look back and smile at our silly antics.
I enjoy seeing my son succeed, so I’d like to look back and see him as a hyper-successful entrepreneur. With his competitive nature and intelligence, he’d enter a field in which he’d innovate and improve. Ever resourceful, he’d build up a business to the very heights of worldly achievement. And of course I’d like to see him have a loving family of his own — people his mom and I would have a great time with and delight in.
A bit indulgent perhaps, but I’d be amused to look back and see myself living in my childhood happy place. I always wanted to live in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. I imagined living in a camper, maybe switching campsites every once in awhile, riding my bike all-around, and visiting the theme-parks. Well, Disney actually built houses right down the street from the campground — it’s called Golden Oak and it feels like it was made just for me. But instead of a camper, I’d be living in a multi-million dollar house (sometimes compromises have to be made I suppose).
More indulgence: I’d like to look back and see myself with access to unlimited funds. For instance, I’d like to be an early-adopter of self-driving car technology. I might even like being an early-adopter of personal flying machines — who knows. Basically I’d like the option of becoming an early-adopter of any new technology that comes around. I don’t like being out of the loop on technology trends. To me, the most exciting things on Earth are technological innovations and I want to experience many of them firsthand. I’d have a robot-dog for sure — and yes, I would probably become a cyborg eventually.
And finally, I would like a small workshop for my tools. I’m slightly sentimental about them and think they deserve a home of their own. I’d like to look back and see that they were well-used and cared-for. I don’t think the actual projects are as important as putting the tools to good-use, and for that I need a space to readily store and access them.
I think that pretty much sums it up. Part of it, is that I want to look back and laugh at how I skated through life with relative ease. Yet internally, I’ve always made a big deal about everything — constantly blowing stuff out of proportion. The primary conflict of my life’s narrative is “Man versus Self”. I’m always struggling against my pessimistic nature — attempting to appreciate the goodness that surrounds. So I want to look back and see that I was able to do just that: appreciate and enjoy life.