On Sunday morning I was out for a run in the Yorkshire Wolds where my mum now lives. The hedgerows were amazing. Snowdrops everywhere and a few early daffodils already in bud. Still no sign of leaves on the trees but that certainty that they are coming is a wondrous thought.
We had a traditional Sunday lunch at my brother’s house – three generations – Mum, me and my brother and his girlfriend, and my son and his girlfriend.
I became very aware of the passing of time… and the wonder of the universe in its cycles.
The snowdrops are special to me – every year I rejoice when I see them – spring is on the way – another cycle starting.
Families work the same way – at one time Mum would have cooked lunch, now is the time for my generation and I guess soon I will be the guest at the table of my children.
Our lives pass through just one round of seasons. Childhood is our Spring – everything new and clean and curious. Our peak working years are our summer – life in full bloom. And now in what I feel is early Autumn I am beginning to become more aware of Winter approaching.
I still have a lot I want to do and see and achieve – so as they say in Nepal “Jam Jam” – let’s get going…. one foot in front of the other so that I can die feeling fulfilled and feeling that my life was worthwhile.
I am reminded of Robin Sharma’s tablets in the gravestones in his lovely book ‘The Leader Who Had No Title” where he asks “How do you want to go to your grave?”
- You reach your last day with the brilliant song that your life was meant to sing still silent within you.
- You reach your last day without ever having experienced the natural power that inhibits you to do great work and achieve great things.
- You reach your last day realizing that you never inspired anyone else by the example that you set.
- You reach your last day so full of pain at the realization that you never took any bold risks and so you never received any bright rewards.
- You reach your last day understanding that you missed the opportunity to catch a glance of mastery because you bought into the lie that you had to be resigned to mediocrity.
- You reach your last day and feel heartbroken that you never learned the skill of transforming adversity into victory and lead into gold.
- You reach your last day regretting that you forgot that work is about being radically helpful to others rather than being helpful only to yourself.
- You reach your last day with the awareness that you ended up living the life that society trained you to want versus leading the life you truly wanted to have.
- You reach your last day and awaken to the fact that you never realized your absolute best nor touched the special genius that you were built to become.
- You reach your last day and discover that you could have been a leader and left this world so much better than you found it. But you refused to accept that mission because you were just too scared. And so you failed. And wasted a life.
- You reach your end full of happiness and fulfillment on realizing that you are all used up – having spent the fullness of your talents, the biggest of your resources, and the best of your potential doing great work and leading a rare-air life.
- You reach your end knowing that you played at a standard of concentrated excellence and held yourself to the most impeccable of standards in each thing that you did.
- You reach your end in noisy celebration for having the boldness of spirit to have regularly confronted your largest fears and realized your highest visions.
- You reach your end and recognize that you became a person who built people up versus one who tore people down.
- You reach your end with the understanding that while your journey may not always have been a smooth one, whenever you got knocked down you instantly got back up – and at all times, never suffered from a lock of optimism.
- You reach your end and bask in the staggering glory of your phenomenal achievements along with the rich value you have contributed to the lives of people you were lucky to serve.
- You reach your end and adore the strong, ethical, inspirational and empathetic person you grew into.
- You reach your end and realize you were a genuine innovator who blazed new trails instead of following old roads.
- You reach your end surrounded by teammates who call you a rock star, customers who say you are a hero and loved ones who call you a legend.
- You reach your end as a true Leader Without a Title, knowing that the great deeds you did will endure long after your death and that your life stands as a model of possibility.