Triangle of Life
One day I was standing in a building waiting for the elevator to arrive. During this time there was already a pregnant lady standing beside me. As we entered the elevator and pressed the required floor button, an old man in his eighties suddenly appeared entering the building main door. And I saw on his face the desperate look of trying to reach the elevator before it goes up, so I immediately stopped and opened the elevator door for him. When he entered the elevator he smiled and said in a very kind and ironic manner: ‘’Thank you so much for helping an old man like me who is useless now in this stage of life and about to die soon’’.
Have you ever passed through a life situation which touched you and made you reflect deeply upon your life?
After I left the elevator, I found that I went outside only with my body but my brain is still inside with this old man, and I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about the whole situation. And even though it’s a normal life situation, I found my brain connecting a triangle where the three angles were the baby who will be born soon and will start his life, me as the middle aged man, and this old man who feels that his life will end soon.
I found my imagination flying and I started asking myself: ‘’If I had the chance to walk out with this man and speak with him a little more, what type of advices would he give me at this phase of his life? Is he happy and satisfied about what he achieved in his life or is there a place deep inside of him where he longs to go back in time in order to change something? Was it my destiny to see the full stages of the human life cycle reflected in the form of the pregnant lady, the old man and me, gathered in an elevator, in order to trigger me to think about what I want to achieve in my life and to look forward to how I want my ending to be?’’ all of these questions popped up suddenly to my mind, and I couldn’t do anything to stop them.
After almost a day of having a flash back on my life i started asking myself: ‘’what is my life’s purpose? What do I really want to achieve in my life? When I leave this life, what imprint do I want to leave behind me? What do I want the people to remember me for?’’. And I found myself recalling a habit that I read in Stephen Covey’s book ‘’the 7 habits of highly effective people’’.
In this book, one of the habits that he mentioned is to ‘’Begin with the end in mind’’. As explained in the book, Covey meant that no matter how much you are busy in your daily life and no matter what you are doing, you have to add a sense of purpose to what you do each day. And this sense of purpose is always tied to your vision and what you are trying to achieve. You have to define your required outcome in advance and not only to care about getting things done. Think about it from this angle and ask yourself: ‘’what do I want to reach in life? What do I want my colleagues at work to say about me after I retire or leave my work? What do I want my family and friends to remember about me after I die?’’.
You want to know what can happen if you did not begin with the end in mind?Let me tell you a story….
Ever heard about Alfred Noble? Do you know how the Noble Prize was created?
Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Prize because he was lucky enough to pass through a situation which changed his way of thinking before it was too late. To give a little background about him, he was the inventor of ‘’Dynamite’’ the explosive material. The dynamite, as with any other invention on the planet can be used for good or bad, depending on the person using it. When he created dynamite he thought that his invention would mainly be used for peaceful work and he also thought that he had done humanity a service.
But he was wrong!!!
In 1888 Alfred Nobel’s brother died. A French newspaper was mistaken and wrote that Alfred Nobel was the one who died instead of his brother, and published Alfred Nobel’s obituary under a header which said ‘’The Merchant of death is dead’’ and it condemned him for his invention of dynamite. Alfred was really disappointed with what he read and was concerned about how he would be remembered after his death, and he came up with the idea of the Noble Prize where he allocated 94% of his total assets to establish the five Nobel prizes. And that was the legacy which Alfred Nobel left behind to memorialize his name, that’s what he wanted to be remembered for.
I learned that life is like google search engine, the more that you are accurate and specific about what you are searching for; the better are the results. So, let me ask you what is the word or sentence that you want to put in the life search engine? What is your vision? What is your life’s purpose? Which legacy do you want to leave behind you in life?
We as human beings cannot predict the future, we cannot predict if we will reach our desired goals or not. But the least thing that we can do is to know why we are doing what we are doing, and to keep our focus on our end targets, and to align our daily actions with them.
So whether your goal is to build a great family, have success in business, sports, music or anything, always have a vision by beginning with the end in mind and take consistent actions towards this end target.
And as Helen Keller the author and the political activist said: ‘’The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision’’.