Do you think about lots of things but never talk about them? Are there things that you would like to do or achieve but haven’t discussed them with anyone? In other words, do people know the real you?
Talk into Action
Have you ever been asked how you would like to be remembered and then realise you are not quite living up to that image? There are many expressions to remind us to live life to the full – such as tomorrow never comes or live every day as if it was your last. But whatever it is you want to do, only you can make it happen. The first step might simply be to voice your ambitions out loud. Once your dreams are ‘out there’ it becomes harder to shy away from them.
Talk and Listen
The Listening Project on BBC Radio Four invites people to record open and frank conversations, documenting for history unique snapshots of daily life and relationships. Sometimes the conversations are painful, at other times full of joy. What many have in common, however, is the obvious sense of relief from the participants as burdens are lifted. Ultimately the participants leave the experience knowing each other a little better.
Reflect on Life
A good way to reflect on your life is to remind yourself that we don’t live forever. It can be a bit of a wake-up call – ask yourself, if you died tomorrow, would you be happy with what you have done with your life? If the answer is no, then start your plans today. It might be an idea to set some goals on a timeline that is realistically achievable. That way, progress has fixed dates rather than an endless list of ‘tomorrows’.
While reflecting on how you would like to be remembered, you could also think about planning your own funeral? This doesn’t just mean making financial provisions. You can set out instructions on what type of service you would like (humanist or religious) and whether you want to be buried or cremated. While no-one likes to think about death, planning your own funeral can be an enjoyable experience as you look back and edit the film of your life into the best bits. At the same time it will starkly bring into focus all the things you still want to do! The added bonus is that you will have lifted the burden of funeral planning from the loved ones you leave behind. Once you have made the funeral arrangements you can relax knowing that you will get the send off you desire. It also means that relatives don’t need to have heated discussions about what you would want.
Can’t Get Started?
All too often we think about reasons why we can’t do something rather than look for the ways to make it happen. Some say that we are more likely to regret the things we don’t do rather than the things we do, so now is the time to take action.