I've floated on the remark "Been there, done that" for some time now, but the notion that the moment is approaching when I can no longer say this bothers me. The truth is, I don't want to go.I have been toying with the idea lately of making a list of 100 things I want to do before I die. I guess there's something a bit morbid about actually writing the list down, but I have read several books or blogs lately (coincidental?) that have spurred my thinking. Has anyone ever made a list like that? And what happens if you actually accomplish all of those things?
There are many reasons. For too long I have behaved as if I could postpone going indefinitely, and thus have so many things that I must do first. I don't want my successors to find out how much I could have done that isn't done, not by a long shot. There are numerous notes and letters I must write. There are places I've wanted to travel, but never had the chance. Actually, each of you can, if you think yourself into my age, fill out the list. At least you can try to understand why I say that I hate to go.
There is definitely power in writing things down, especially goals. Putting pen to paper from thoughts in the mind has a very sobering effect - you either accomplish them or you don't. A lot of people I know never write their goals down. I think they really fear failure. Once you write it down you've committed - especially if you share it with someone else. Most people never open themselves up to that level of accountability.
I heard Mark Batterson say in a podcast recently that it finally hit him that he would rather live with his failures than with the "what if's" that never came to be. Some wise words.
I thought it fitting to close with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. Enjoy his words.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910