By Mark Andrew Beach
In our quest for wealth, prosperity, abundance and riches, we must always remember that there are other areas of our life more important than money. One teacher I used to have said, “you can spend all you heath earning your wealth, but if you do, you will spend all your wealth, trying to regain your health.” Needless to say, maintaining good healthy habits is key to a prosperous and abundant life.
Even more important to the quality of our prosperous lives is our relationships. It has been said, “Money can’t buy you love” and this is true. No one on their deathbed ever regretted not making more money, but many people on their deathbed have expressed deep regrets about a lost love, not spending more time with their children, or how they treated their spouse.
This point was really driven home for me a while back, when a mentor of mine took me through a process by instructing me to imagine I had twenty-four hours to live. Imagine I was in perfectly good health, but that I just had the knowledge that I would only be on the planet for another twenty-four hours and then I would be going home to my maker. I was instructed to take five minutes and write down a list of all the things I wanted to do with my last remaining day on earth. Money and time were no consideration, meaning I could spend whatever amount of money I wanted or do whatever I wanted because money and time were compressed into the twenty-four hours.
With that understanding how would my “bucket list” be comprised? Here was my list, written in the order as it came to me, it is unedited:
1) Contact all those I have hurt and ask their forgiveness one last time;
2) Reach out to those who hurt me and forgive them;
3) Say good-bye to my eleven children, their spouses and my eight grandchildren;
4) Say good-bye to my dear wife;
5) Be available to everyone else, family, friends, etc. who wants to say good-bye to me;
6) Go flying in an airplane, hang gliding or para-sailing, something to relive the sensation of flying;
7) Broadcast and leave my message to the world;
8) Tell certain other people I love them, other people I should have told, but never did;
9) Prepare messages from my living relatives to my dead relatives;
10) Swim with dolphins;
11) Stand on the top of Mt Everest;
12) Return to Argentina for a day.
When I completed my list, my mentor then instructed me to tear off the top one-third of the list and throw the rest away. “Why did you have me do that?” I asked.
“Because you never know when you have breathed your last breathe on this planet”, she responded effectively cutting my life off after item number four. In other words, we can make all the lists we want, but we can’t control when our time to complete them is done and it is too late to finish even our best intentions. I looked at the top one-third of my list and breathed a grateful sigh of relief.
“Yes, I do believe I have my priorities in order I thought.”