A lot of people think about what they would have done differently when they are faced with their own demise or the demise of loved ones. I’m of course no exception. We live our lives each day with a certain amount of conviction that our ‘tomorrow’ lives will be pretty much like our ‘today’ lives; we trust that tomorrow will come. And that has been the case up to now. If we have anything to fear, it is in the form of man-made threats such as nuclear weapons and the threat of biological warfare, that the crazies in the world will get their hands on these things and end life as we know it.
I thought about what I have accomplished in my life up to this point, and about what I still want to do, if given the chance. But I also thought about all the things I haven’t done, and they perhaps define me just as well as the things I have done and accomplished: I’m never going to climb Mt. Everest, or any mountain for that matter; I’m never going to fly a small plane or learn to pilot one; I’m never going to do tandem skydiving or bungee jumping; I’m never going to do deep-sea diving; I’m never going to sail in a small boat across a large ocean for days at a time; I’m never going to run a large corporation or lead hundreds of people; I’m never going to make a million dollars a year, despite what life coaches tell me (to dream big); I’m never going to own a large palace or an over-sized mansion, a yacht or a wildly-expensive new car; I’m never going to travel the entire world. These are things I'm never going to do, and I'm very ok about it.
If I won a huge lottery, I’m fairly certain that not much on the above list would change—perhaps I would purchase a new home and a new car, and then share the money with people I care about. The things I do not want to do have little to do with money, or better stated, it’s not the lack of money that prevents me from doing them. I simply have no desire to do them. What I do want to do more of in the future is to spend time with the people I care about, doing the things we enjoy together—hanging out, talking, relaxing, eating out, going to movies or concerts, traveling a bit, shopping, and being on vacation. When I think about my life in this way, it makes me happy, because I already do so many of these things with the people I care about. If the end of the world came tomorrow, there's not much I would have changed about my life. And I hope I feel the same way in ten or twenty years, if we and the Earth are still around.