Edit ModuleShow Tags

Focus forward by working backward


A milestone birthday is in my immediate future.  Next week, I gain entry to the “fourth floor”.

Like New Year’s Eve, birthdays are a good time for resolutions; except we don’t call them that.  Instead we pause for a moment, conjure up a wish, blow out a candle (or 40), and hope for the best.

It seems like we put more effort into submitting our expense report than making our dreams reality. This wish-making business sounds a bit wishy-washy to me.

If it’s important, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Lately, this mantra’s been on auto play in my brain like a catchy Top 40 tune.  Since planning my future is important, I take pen to paper and begin to craft my “wishes”. 

It makes perfect sense to start today and map out 10, 20, 30, 40 years ahead.  But this task feels like pushing a boulder up Mt. Massive.  Writer’s block sets in immediately paralyzing my progress.

Then it occurs to me I’m going about this ALL WRONG. 

Scrapping my original strategy, prior to my birthday – of all days – I decide to write my own eulogy.  Relinquishing the obvious thoughts of mortality, my Sisyphean struggle ceases. 

I won’t bore you with the details of my eulogy (spoiler alert: Anthony Bourdain and I run away to Bora Bora and open up the world’s coolest Tiki Bar).  Instead, I leave this fulfilling discovery of self-awareness in your capable hands.

Start with the end result in mind and work your way backwards.

Some suggestions to get you started thinking about your life’s script:

  1.  Quality Trumps Quantity – The amount of time you predict is in you future isn’t as important as how you fill it.
  2. Be Fearless – Rapper Pit Bull said “Reach for the stars and if you don't grab them, at least you're on top of the world.”  Be the alpha dog.  Woof.
  3. Permission to Self-Indulge – You are the leading role in the movie of You.  You’re not the gullible sidekick, less handsome wingman, or flaky best friend.  Give yourself the star treatment. “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”
  4. “I’d like to thank…” – In your moment of self-indulgence, don’t forget the little guys during life’s journey; the ones you helped and the ones who helped you.  Props to you for giving them props in your eulogy.
  5. Get Creative – Throw logic to the wind.  Eliminate doldrum barriers and so-called reality.  Think like Willy Wonka: “Inside this room, all of my dreams become realities. And some of my realities become dreams.”
  6. Leave a Legacy – When you make your mark, do it with a Sharpie, not a dry erase marker.  Other than the fact that you know the choreography to Thriller by heart, what’s the one thing you want your great grandchildren to know about you?

Remember: If it’s important, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.

I wish you luck.

Edit Module
Laura Cook Newman

Laura Cook Newman is a professional Chef and Training Manager for a Fortune 500 food manufacturer. She earned her chops at Johnson & Wales University, has an MBA in Marketing and hosts a blog for behind-the-scenes insights on the food service industry. Contact her at www.ThreeHotsAndaCot.net

Get more content like this: Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Key to growth: A relationship with your lender

It isn’t a secret – Colorado’s economy is vibrant and strong. New developments continue to spring up across the state, many entrepreneurs have started new businesses, and many more companies are growing and need resources to meet their increased demand. What’s the secret to ensure business owners...

Do we need a new word for entrepreneur?

Has the word entrepreneur become too trendy as to have lost its meaning? I’m hearing it and the word entrepreneurship being used in so many conversations incorrectly. I’m critical of the use of the word "entrepreneur"...are you?

Hot tips for emerging company boards

Emerging companies comprise a significant portion of Colorado businesses. Venture capitalists, angel investors and founders make up the shareholders and the boards of directors of many of these companies. I spoke recently to Fran Wheeler, a partner in the Business Department of the Colorado Office...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags