I just started reading a book by Brendon Burchard. Can’t say it’s a Great Christian Classic, because it isn’t. In fact although he name-checks God I’m not even sure where he stands on the faith thing at the moment. Truth is though that you can still learn from someone who is smart and have it positively impact your life without it being spiritual. In fact Brendon’s thing is that everyone has something to say as a result of their life thus far and some of it can be packaged and sold for money. In his case, lots of money.
Yeah I know that gets up the noses of some Christians and frankly that’s their call. I won’t knock them for it, but I might gently suggest they take a deep breath and try and see past the money angle in case there is something of value lurking.
So anyways, what did I get from this guy that’s worth mentioning? Well the paradigm for his book is based on three things to consider before you die, because like they did for him, they may well come up at that point. It comes down to these three questions;
Did I live?
Did I love?
Did I make a difference?
Did I live is to do with how we approach life. Do we see it as something to be endured until we get to heaven or is it something to be grasped with both hands and shaken until it gives up the good stuff. Note this isn’t just about wealth, it’s about a quality of living regardless of wealth. Being somewhat on the introspective side of things, grasping hold of life isn’t something that is at the top of my to-do list each day and truth be told I’m not generally drawn to people who act like that. So why did this challenge me? I can only think that God saw a chink in my armour and insinuated the suggestion that maybe, just maybe life has more to offer as an experience than I have routinely become used to. Maybe I had settled for the easy way of expecting little being a defence against being disappointed when it felt like little or nothing was all that happened.
This hasn’t been a Damascus road experience or anything, it’s just making me think about what inheritance the difficult years has left in the way I think. Which of course effects how I feel and how I act every day and prevents me from stepping outside my comfort zone. May take a bit of time on this I think.
Did I love is a reference to how we treat others. Do we take the opportunity to be kind, to express our love. Do we have the mindset that doesn’t want to see those we love pass, leaving us with regrets about what we didn’t say. Do we take the more emotionally risky route and choose to say what we are feeling to our loved ones so they benefit from knowing they are loved.
Did I make a difference is perhaps the most obvious. Is the world a better place for us being in it and how many will actually miss us when we go. To me this addresses our motivations in a society which seems intent on becoming famous or exercising control rather than actually achieving something of benefit to others.
I don’t think you can build a life on just answering these questions, but I think they provide a usable framework, reference points for us to check how we are doing and where our compass is pointing.
© Paul Wood