Why Your Life Doesn’t Look Successful

I recently noticed that many of my friends and family are making more money than me, taking vacations to exotic places, having babies, buying houses, and starting families.
 
I’m 29 and most of my Facebook Newsfeed is 3 things:
 
  • People getting married
  • People having a baby
  • People getting a dog
 
After a few years of watching the social media filtered highlights of their lives, I’ve realized the big reason my life and career doesn’t look the same.
 
I don’t want the same things they want.
 
I want, so desperately, to live a meaningful life.
 
I call this the Death Bed Principle.
 
The idea is simple. What kind of life will I look back on from my death bed? What will I need to do to feel like I spent my time and energy in worthwhile, useful way?
 
My goal is to avoid the most common regrets dying folks have:
 
“I wish I had lived my own life instead of the life others’ prescribed,” and “I wish I hadn’t worked so much.”
 
Please read Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware for more context and depth into her striking discoveries.
 
One of the ways I’ve started implementing the Death Bed Principle into my life is by counting the estimated weeks I’ve got left.
 
Take the average lifespan for a person my sex and nationality (roughly 80 years), convert that into weeks, subtract the number of weeks I’ve had, and voila.
 
As of today, I’ve got a little over 2,000 weeks left.
 
Looking death square in the face is scary, but I don’t want to be scared of dying. I want to be at peace with my life and how I spent my time.
 
If I look back at my journey and all I see is 40 hours a week spent at a job I didn’t really love, working for a cause that didn’t really help the world, I’ll be full of regret.
 
If I look back and I see my entire life lived in self-indulgence, knowing I could have done more to help others, I’ll be full of regret.
 
If I look back and I see my hard work to make the world a better place, regardless of the challenges I overcame and the failures I had, I’ll be proud of my journey and I’ll leave a legacy of courage and honor for my family.
 
Success will look very different for you than it will for others who can only see the next vacation they’re planning.
 
If you’re working hard just so you don’t have to work anymore, you’re at extreme risk for regret.
 
2 MINUTE ACTION
 
Take 2 minutes to calculate how much time you’ve got left.
 
Use the Death Bed Principle to write down a list of what a successful life would look like from your last week.
 
Write down what the Facebook Newsfeed of a “successful” person might look like.
 
Defining success will massively increase your odds of getting there.
 
If you’re looking to join others who share your definition of success, take this 2 minutes to join the Relentless Community on Facebook and share your values and ideals.
 
We’re all on team human. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of that by like-minded, motivated souls.
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2 Comments

  1. Shireen

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks, for sharing this article.

    It was really worth reading, in a few words you explained the most impotent thing which should be known by the people like me, at this point of age.

    Thanks again, and all the best for the next article.

    1. chris danilo

      Thanks, Shireen!

      What do you think is the most common thing people your age are focused on instead of something important like this?

      Would love to hear your thoughts!

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