I WAS A WHORE for the self-help books in my late teens and early twenties and amassed a horde of titles during that time as I searched for ways to piece the puzzle of life together.
I’ve since drifted away from the self-help and motivational ‘ra-ra’ spiel, but every once in a while a book comes along that piques my interest.
In recent years the work of Eckhart Tolle has resonated strongest with me. His piercing simple truths revealing that happiness wasn’t ‘out there’ but actually available to us at any given moment.
This was a refreshing antidote to the motivational gurus I had gorged on in the past where material wealth and the external symbols were targets to reach at some future point that told the world that you had finally made it and become SUCCESSFUL.
I found that little gap of peace and bliss by chance one time which I recount in this post.
I’m currently reading a book by Dr. Steve Peters called ‘The Chimp Paradox‘. It is a different slant on Tolle’s argument that there are two entities fighting for control in our mind – the REAL you, and the EGO or CHIMP in Peter’s book.
There was one passage which struck me which I’d like to share here, and it describes how to find out your real truth and deeper purpose.
…imagine that you are 100 years old and on your deathbed with one minute to live. Your great-great grandchild asks ‘Before you die, tell me what I should do with me life?’
Pause for a moment now and try to honestly answer the question immediately within the next minute. You have just one minute, start now and then when the time is up and you have worked out what you would say to them, continue reading.
Answering this question will identify what is important to you…it is what life is all about to you. It is your ‘Life Force’.
Many of you will answer with statements such as, ‘it doesn’t matter what you do’, ‘be happy’, ‘don’t worry’ and ‘make the most of it’.
Whatever your advice was to your great-great grandchild is really the advice to yourself. If you are not living by this advice, which is the essence of your existence, you are living a lie. Don’t live a lie; it will unsettle you more than anything else.
I thought this was a refreshing way to look at things from another perspective and certainly inject some clarity into a day that was full of ‘pressing’ little tasks that now seem trivial in the grand scheme of things.
A role reversal from when my ten year old self advised the adult, the advice I would give a great-great grandchild and to myself would therefore be to follow your happiness in spite of what others might say and wherever it may lead. Ultimately if you do what you love (and keep looking until you find it), then that is a life worth living.
What would you advise your great-great grandchild if you only had a minute left to live?