40 Questions We’re Afraid to Ask – #36
Trying to answer this question about what I intend to accomplish before I die really sums up in a nutshell who I am as a person. It’s possibly the most powerful question I could possibly ask myself. And to say “intend” rather than “want to” gives makes the question even more profound. We all have bucket lists — things we’d like to do, places we’d like to see, people we’d like to meet before we die — but this question is different. Doing and accomplishing are two different things, the latter being more like the legacy we’d like to leave behind.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the little things and forget what really matters to you.” ~ Candy Chang
Artist Candy Chang has written a book titled Before I Die, which explores a project she developed in which she painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colorful chalk dreams as neighbors stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than four hundred Before I Die walls have been created by people all over the world. the project has provided a wonderful way for people around the world to ponder one of life’s ultimate question.
An accomplishment is more than just something I want to do.
The dictionary defines accomplishment as successful completion, achievement, a special skill or ability acquired by training or practice, fulfillment, something done admirably or creditably. It might be good to review two of our earlier questions, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m doing today” and “Why do I matter“. Focusing on questions such as this give our life meaning. Pondering questions of what we want to accomplish, rather than simply what we would like to do, gives us direction. What gives your life real purpose, real direction? What one thing do you intend to accomplish before you die?
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