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Dylan Thomas wrote a fascinating poem that I have considered regularly for some years now.  At first, it just sounded cool. The more I read it, the more I considered its meaning. The more I considered its meaning, the more the poem pushed me to become the man I want to be.  Take a moment to read Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”:

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Thomas’ poem is dealing with death and reflecting on the life that was lived.  Is there more for me to give? More that I could have done? Is the life I lived all there really was?  Not sure about you, but I don’t want to be at the end of this one life that I have and wonder “Is that it?”  My hope is to leave this world with joy and delight; no regrets.  

To do that I have to choose each day to be lived with purpose.  I want to passionately pursue my wife daily. I want my daughters to know they have great potential every single day to make a difference in the world.  I want to adventure in this world, to see, do, and experience as much as I can.  

I still want to go sky-diving and bungee-jumping.  I want to hike up to Machu Picchu and backpack the Pacific Crest Trail. I want to throw rocks in a lake and walk my youngest daughter down the aisle when she gets married.  I want to hold and love my grandchildren. I want to travel to Uganda with Lanae and serve the people she has built relationships with… And so much more.

I’m driven by goals, dreams, and experiences but not obligated to or defined by them.  If I live every day loving my family, encouraging my friends and pursue all my dreams until I breathe my last then I will be at peace.  That’s what I want at the end of my life, don’t you? 

I DO want to go gentle into that good night.  I want to live a life of meaning and purpose. I want to lay down every night with Peace of Mind knowing today was a good day, a full of life day.  You want that life too. And you can have it. Even if you feel stuck; you don’t have to stay there. The good news is, you’re still alive! You can make a different choice.  You can make plans and pursue your dreams. Just don’t change everything in one day.  

The good news is, you’re still alive!

Here are three (3) things you can do to start moving towards the life you want, a life of purpose.  First, dream.  Who do you want to become?  Where do you want to go? Who do you want to spend time with?  What is something you will accomplish?  

Second, write down your goals. What do you want to do, experience or become?  And by when? The first step is easy and fun. We do it pretty naturally, it’s called daydreaming.  The second step makes the change real and possible and that can be intimidating.  

Third, make One MicroShift (small change).  What is One MicroShift you need to make in your current situation to step towards your goal?  Get a new or second job to pay off debt? Go back to school? Get new friends? Read and research where you want to go?  Learn a new language?

Do these three steps every week. After three months look back on how far you’ve come.

The end of this life is inescapable.  The question is do you want to go with regret that you didn’t accomplish more or go gentle with Peace of Mind knowing you had a life well lived?