After You Are Dead
Carlos Castaneda said in A
Yaqui Way of Knowledge, “Let Death be your advisor.” He was saying
that Death, who is always there, looks over your left shoulder. If you know
that and understand it, it can lead you to a better life; from that knowledge,
you will learn what is important and what isn’t. It gives you perspective and
self knowledge which are two parts of wisdom.
Sao Paolo born author and new age philosopher
tell my students that things or people who are bothering them right now may
become, in a matter of days or perhaps weeks or months, unimportant to the
point that it’s like you are looking back at them through the wrong end of a
telescope– they are small and far away. If you get any good at this, you can
reduce the time it takes to seconds.
had a young person in my office the other day asking me, “What should I do with
my career? Which university should I go to? I’m not sure which program I want–
industrial design, architecture, general arts? Should I go for the money?
Where’s the money?”
you want to make good decisions in life, about your life, I told her, then you
need to have three things in alignment– your heart, your gut and your head. I
did not tell her, “Let Death be your advisor” because, with young people
(teenagers especially) you have to be careful. They can misunderstand with
If you are passionate about
something (your heart is in it), you feel good when you are doing it (your gut
is not yelling
at you to stop) and you are focused on it with all your analytical faculties as
well as your subconscious brainpower (your head is in the game), you are likely
to be good at it, whatever “it” is.
Another way to find out what you
should be doing (at any time in life not just when you are starting out) is to
make a list. I call it the Ten Things You Will Miss Most After You Are Dead list. Make up your list, then do more
of those things and less of everything else.
is my list–
1. Looking at/being with my wife;
2. Talking with my kids/grand kids;
3. Writing, storytelling,
researching, experimenting, discovering and creating wholly or partly new
things/ways of doing stuff;
Teaching/communicating/mentoring/connecting with really smart people;
5. Building enterprises/events/causes;
6. Keynote speaking;
7. Listening to music/looking at and
experiencing great art/reading;
8. Yoga, running, sailing, skiing,
hiking (in Crete and at Red Pine Camp), hang
9. Selling and negotiating,
10. Feeling part of something bigger
than just myself.
know I cheated. I bundled some things together to get it down to ten. These are
the things I will miss most after I am dead. And if you know anything about me,
these are the things that I spend about 99% of my awake time on and probably
most of my sleep time as well.
My no. 1 thing to do in life–
Bruce M Firestone, Founder, Ottawa
Senators; Author, Quantum Entity Trilogy; Broker, Century 21 Explorer Realty;