The Measure of a Man
You are going to die.
Quite the macabre opening, but true none the less.
Recently I attended a seminar that brought this fact to life (pun intended) The event itself had nothing to do with life or death or puns; it was a Glasgow Chambers of Commerce event centred around big data and the importance of thinking in digital. But after hearing all the stats, the predictions and the examples of how digital is important to our lives and our businesses, it became apparent that there was one big thing could make the best digital thinking and endless big data pointless, one thing that could screw it all up. People.
It was interesting to listen to "creative businesses" (whatever they are) talk about their deep rooted relationships with people, their understanding that at the end of each tweet, each email, each # there is a person writing it. They understood that big data isn't numbers, it's people, and if those people aren't nurtured then the data counts for nothing.
In a culture that sees people as stats and names to be "captured" I was inspired to see one of the speakers ask the audience what they were going to do with the time they had left to live. This wasn't an exercise in promotion or sales or strategy, this was an exercise in life, and in happiness and the results were scary.
so let's give it a go...
Go and get a sheet of A4 paper and write in the numbers 1-100 (or print this sheet off)
Now find your age and tear it in 2 parts. Throw away the piece in your left hand. That's the part of your life that you've lived, you can't get that back. Fold it away nicely and keep in somewhere, or throw it in the bin, either way it's done.
Now find when you think you will die (going by statistics life expectancy where I live is 78) again tear that off and throw away the piece in your right hand. That part is after your life, you're out of time and you have no numbers left, you're dead.
So this is what you have left. Now I want you to rip the paper at when you think you will retire, not when you want to retire, when you think you will actually do it. I'm optimistic so I'm going for 55.
So now you have 2 pieces of paper, one that shows the rest of your career and the other that has nothing to do with work and is all about life. Turn your pieces over and write down everything you want to achieve in that space you have left, all your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Places you want to visit, things you want to experience.
Do you have enough space?