Life is like a candle, when we have burnt all of our allocated time in this world, it will end. However like a candle, a simple puff of wind can blow it out before it's time. But most of us take it for granted that there will be many many tomorrows ahead of him or her. That is a self-deception. Life, in reality is fragile.
A friend just lost her father as I wrote this. He had cancer and he had only lasted a few weeks after the diagnosis. There is something about moments like this that made people start to ponder about life - where have they been and what they're going to do in the future. Moments like this makes you realize that life is short. What happens tomorrow or even the next hour is impossible to know. Only God can determine how long you'll live. But while you're still living, is there anything that you'd like to do one day?
One day I will do this, one day I will go visit somewhere, one day I will tell my parents that I care for them, one day I will tell my wife that I love her, one day I will call up my old best friend in the world and catch up with him or her, one day I will give my time to help in charity.... but the reality is, you don't know how many days you actually have! And when is the ONE DAY ever coming?
Why ONE DAY? Why not now? It doesn't take much effort to pick up the phone to call someone, to tell the person that you care about him or her. And to tell him or her that you're a friend. It also does not take much to drive to visit your parents once in a while, maybe every month or so, or more often if you live nearby them. Even if the journey is long, the smile and joy on their faces when you arrive would have made the trip worth it.
Granted that some things may need more resources, more than what you have right now. But then, do you even have a plan? Saying that I will visit Europe in 2010, for example is one step ahead from saying that I'll visit Europe ONE DAY! The former has a deadline to happen, the latter will almost never happen. Many people have dreams, simply because it is relatively easy to dream - you can do that even in the daytime - it's called daydreaming. But it does take a plan to put the dream into reality. Once you have a plan you can start executing it until you've achieved your dreams. That is what success really is; a dream with a plan.
Formulate one plan each for the major things that you want to do in life. Put the plan down on paper. There is something about writing things down on paper that makes it more real. Writing your dreams on a piece of paper is the first step in your plan. Write down the resources that you're going to need to achieve it. If you're going to need ten thousand dollars to execute your plan, write it down. Then write down how you're going to get the resources that you need. Perhaps you need to put aside some cash every month. Perhaps you need to do some short term investments to help you along the way. Whatever the method, write it all down.
Then write down the likely obstacles that you're going to face, and how you're going to solve them.
Once you have a good idea of what you need to do, split your plan into little pieces of actions that you're going to do at a certain, definite time. These should be small tasks that you can handle right away, like put money aside in the travel account - 1st of every month. Each tasks will have a deadline.
Lastly, write down what you're gonna loose out if you did not achieve this dream. This will tell you how much this dream matters to you. This will help you sort out your dreams to prioritize those that are most important to you, because you may not have the resources to execute all of your plans at once.
It is very self reflective to put all your plans for your dreams together and see the direction that you're going. They will tell you what you'll become. Is this who you want to be? Are these what you want to achieve in life? What really matters to you? Finally you will learn of who you really are.
Make sure that you also include in your dreams the people that you care for and the society that you live in. No man is ever an island. The people who really cares for you in this life are usually few. Make sure you know who they are and keep them in your most important dreams all the time.
What is the use of achieving greatness and success if there are no loved ones and no friends to share it with. For example, if one of your plans is to achieve financial freedom - when you get there and you finally have plenty of time, you will need your family and friends to share this freedom with. If not you will be rich, successful and alone.
Dreams can be large or small, but without a plan they will not happen. Don't wait till you are at the end of the rope and realize that there are so many things that you've still got to do. It will be too late for you. Make it happen now!
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