Last week I issued the “Blank Canvas Challenge“. It’s a challenge to start this year/quarter/month/day with no goals — at least for a little while. You know, keep the canvas blank. Don’t muck it up just yet. Give yourself some space.
Funny what happens when you give yourself some space. Interesting things start presenting themselves, makin’ you think about weird stuff.
Today I heard Tim McGraw’s song, Live Like You Were Dying. It’s a halfway decent country song from a few years ago. And it’s a great reminder to live a superpowered life while you still can. Here are some of the lyrics:
Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
This week I have another challenge for you.
What would you do if you only had one year — this year — to live?
To keep it as light as possible, let’s assume you’ll stay in perfect, happy health for the entire year and at the end you’ll be whisked off to whatever version of paradise you picture in your head. Oh, and you still need to earn a living during the year, but you can do it in any realistic way you wish.
If you’re willing to play along I think you’ll find this challenge eye-opening and inspiring. You can do it on your own, but I invite you to answer the following 10 questions in the comment section below. Don’t worry, nobody is holding your feet to the fire here. I’d just love to hear your answers, and I bet others would, too.
Two more things: answer the questions below assuming you will maintain the same income you have now. This isn’t an unlimited-money-bucket-list kind of exercise. Also, answer them quickly using your gut, not your head.
If you only had one year — this year — to live:
- What would you start doing right now?
- What would you immediately stop doing?
- What relationship(s) would you repair?
- What relationship(s) would you stop investing in?
- Would you keep your current job? If not, what would you do for income instead?
- Where would you travel?
- What would you want to learn?
- What would you do to take AMAZING care of yourself?
- Who would you say “I love you” to that you haven’t told yet (or told enough)?
- How would you leave the world better than you found it if you could?
Live with your answers for a week or two. Resist the urge to make them into action items. And for the love of all things holy, don’t you dare fill up your blank canvas with them.
When you’re ready, pick one and make it happen. Just one. If that goes well, do it again. And again. Hey, you’ve got a whole year, right? Thankfully, you probably have more than that.
But you never know, do you?