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Inner Game

Who's Life Are You Really Living?

lifelist.jpgHey guys, Trevor Mauch here...

Today I'm hoping to mess you up a little bit. But in a good way. Let's see :- )

One thing that is very important to me and one of the main reasons I’ve made the choice to be an entrepreneur is experiencing new, exciting, fulfilling, interesting, things and places. That’s what life’s all about right?

So, what happened to me yesterday afternoon was pretty cool… and I want the same thing to happen to you.

Read on…

My wife and I were doing a little bit of tidying up around the house on the first Sunday we’d been home in literally 2 months (we travel a lot… sometimes too much). As I was folding some socks and putting them in my dresser drawer I noticed this crumbled piece of paper I had apparently forgotten about a long time ago.

I opened it up, half expecting it to be some scribble from one of my late-night “idea bursts” (I keep a pen and paper by my bed all the time; some great ideas come in the middle of the night :-)… but what I found was even better. Way better.

As I opened it up one crumpled edge at a time… a list… 102 items strong… all handwritten… appeared. Reading through the stuff on that list was inspiring as heck… fun, and got my juices flowing again. The crazy cool thing was that I had done many of the things on that list since I wrote it… this year has been an amazing year in many aspects.

It was the life list I created earlier this year. I usually do a new one every year to keep it fresh. I had heard about a life list a few years back and I immediately grabbed a hold of that idea and knew I’d always keep a life list of some sort.

What's a life list you ask?

Simple. It’s everything you want to do before you die. I’ve heard it called a bucket list… but I like “life list” better… sounds a bit more positive than “kicking the bucket” lol.

Trevor in Moab, UT.

trevor_moab2.jpgMy life list has things all the way from big epic experiences like "Skydive over a tropical ocean" (which I did earlier this year) and "Mountain bike in Moab, Utah" (which I did this year with some friends)...

...to fulfilling things like, "Start a scholarship at my college" (which my wife and I did this year)...

...to places I want to go/see, like New Zealand, visiting all 50 states, watch the Masters golf tournament live, Oktoberfest in Germany, and walk the great wall of China...

...even down to little fun experiences, like mastering a surprising cocktail, reading 24 books in a year, catching salmon in Alaska, helping 5 friends or family become independent and start their own businesses.

And it’s not just trips and fun stuff. A big hunk of my (currently 102 item) life list is things that truly fulfill me and are a part of what I feel is my purpose. Things like:

  • Raising $1,000,000 for an awesome charity (I haven’t hit that yet, but will someday);
  • Teaching a college class on entrepreneurship;
  • Finishing a tri-athlon;
  • Being published in Entrepreneur Magazine for doing something truly amazing;

...and a bunch of other stuff.

Did I really matter??

In the end, when I’m 90 years old and look back at my life and ask the questions (as a mentor of mine posed to me)...

"Did I live? Did I love? And did I matter?"

What will the honest answer be?

I want the unequivocal answer to all 3 questions to be a resounding "YES!!!" (yes, in bold, italics, all caps, and with three exclamation points).

So now, as always, I want you to come away from this post with something you can apply in your own life to “live a legendary life.” I want you to come up with your own life list this week.

At first, it can be a bit intimidating. It was for me. But, I promise you’ll find that once you get rolling, things just start to flow and it’ll be inspiring as heck.

What do you want to do before you die?

That’s the big question you want to ask yourself throughout this whole exercise. Too many people live day-to-day and never really put much thought into what they really want to do in life?

Write down these categories (it helps me to get creative when I’m given restrictions). Leave some space below each category so you can write stuff below it:

  • Places I want to see/go
  • Things I want to do
  • Things I want to experience
  • Things that will fulfill me

Next, start writing. Pick one of the categories… usually the “places to see/go” one is the easiest because almost everyone has thought of places they’d love to go. But, as you’re doing it, be really specific. Rather than just say “New Zealand,” say something like, “New Zealand during summer for 2 months." It helps it become more real.

Spend as much time dreaming as you want. Its your life… you might as well put some thought into what the heck you really want to do while you’re here on this earth. Most people spend more time planning their next vacation than they do planning their entire life. Think about that for a second.

If you get stumped, move to another category… take a break, check out a travel/lifestyle magazine/website. Find inspiration.

Now once you feel you’re done (for now)… grab your 2nd piece of blank paper and with a pencil start writing out the things you had on that first paper.

The cool thing here is, on your actual list you don’t have to keep things in categories. I just have my 102 items written out by hand and numbered. There’s no specific order to my list, no specific organization, just a brain dump of what I want to do in life.

Once you’re done… awesome. Keep that list and put it somewhere you’ll see it on a daily basis. Add to it as you think of new things, and (this is important) cross off the things you accomplish as you do them.

Your life list should be an ever-changing table of contents to your life broken up into bite sized experiences. As we get older we have new goals and want to experience new things.

Now, here’s where the real magic comes...

The simple act of writing these things down springboards the huge first step into actually doing them.

I can’t tell you how amazing the experience of creating a life list has been for me. I hope it is the same for you. Don’t put this off as something “I’ll do later.” Do it tonight. Don’t put off living. Don’t put off dreaming.

If you don’t write down what you want to do in life (from the big stuff to the small trivial stuff like “mastering a curious cocktail”) then I ask you, who’s life are you going to live? Who’s dreams are you going to achieve? Probably not yours.

Leave a comment below with some of your life list items. I’d love to hear what you want to do in life!


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Grab two blank pieces of paper and a pencil…

Sit in a quiet place and block out a solid hour today - and a couple 30 minute time blocks in other days this week.

And when you've had time to think about it over the next few days, more terrific ideas will come to you, so keep adding to your awesome life list.

Now start checking things off of it!

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