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The Signs of a Meaningful Life

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Chuck Patch via Compfight

Yesterday morning when I got to San Clemente for my surf session, during my walk down to the beach, I noticed a bunch of signs. To the best of my memory they read as follows:

10) Throw Tomatoes at La Tomantina

 9)  Learn to Surf Well

 8)  Start  a Non-Profit Organization

 7)  Knit my Own Beanie

 6)  Learn to Cook

 5)  Go to Africa

 4)  Buy My Parents a House by the Sea

 3) Visit all 7 Continents 

There were  more signs which I can’t seem to remember. But when I got  to the beach, I thought to myself “If I did all the things on this guy’s bucket list, I would feel as if I had lived a meaningful life.” An hour later, I overheard a girl in the water talking about the signs and the fact that she had just been proposed to. So I assume the signs had something to do with that.  The signs reminded me of just how much more valuable a life made up of experiences is than one made up of possessions.

I had planned to take pictures of all of them and post them.  When I got out of the water they were all gone.  But I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I wondered what they would say if they were my signs. Oddly enough, it didn’t come to me immediately. I had to ask myself a somewhat morbid question to figure out what my own signs would say.  If this was the last year of my life, what I would I put on those signs?

This is what  I came up with

  1. Surf the Brazilian Coast back to the sight of my first wave
  2. Have a birthday party with fireworks and all my oldest friends
  3. Visit every single friend, blog reader,  and podcast listener of mine in their hometown
  4. Speak at a high school or University commencement
  5. Take a trip with my family to somewhere they’ve always wanted to visit
  6. Interview somebody really famous on national television or at a major conference (inspired by Dyana Valentine)
  7. Go to a Speedway and drive a race car 
  8. See one of my favorite bands in concert
  9. Visit all of the 7 Wonders of the World

I’m sure there are probably a few more. It’s odd to look at that list and see that none of the things I’ve been pre-occupied with for the last several months are on it.  So, what have you been preoccupied with? Maybe it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

When it’s all Said and Done

When you get to the end of the road of this journey called life, all you’ll be left with is the feelings you’ve felt, the memories you’ve formed,  and  the footprints on your  imagination from the experiences you’ve had. As you might remember, nobody leaves this world with a thing in their pockets. So give some serious thought to what you want to be able to take with you when you go.

It’s up to you to decide what’s meaningful

You don’t have to sell everything you own and leave the country in a month to live a meaningful life.  But you can always take the first step in a direction of a dream. To each person a certain experience will mean something  different.

The list above is mine. Maybe you don’t give a damn about doing any of those things. That’s all well and good.  So, what’s on your list? 

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