I am a list maker. Every evening, before I go to sleep, I make a list of everything that I have to do the next day. I number it from 1 to 10, or 1 to 5, depending on how many items I need accomplish for the next day. My lists are comprised of mindless items, like picking up milk at the grocery store or scheduling car maintenance to items that are more rewarding, like exercising and making time to write. If I put it down on my list, I am more likely to complete my tasks. I’ve noticed on days I don’t write it down, I procrastinate and put off my to-do’s to the next time I make a list. The thing I love most about lists are crossing off items I have finished. I take my red pen, gliding the pen across the words, and immediately I feel a sense of accomplishment, even though the tasks on that day may have been trivial.
There is one important drawback in this sense of accomplishment. I am so focused on trivial details of my everyday to-do lists, that I haven’t made my Life To-Do List. There are “higher” goals in this life I want to accomplish. I think about these goals in my head, but I haven’t made a point to write them down. I know fear is preventing me from writing my goals down. I am as fearful of success, as I am of failure. There is always a chance I might fail at reaching my goals, but an equal chance I might succeed. I realize if I meet my goals, then what? Will I be more happier meeting these goals than not? I don’t know.
The key in these lists is giving some thought to life’s purpose. Everyone can write arbitrary goals, random goals, concrete goals, well-thought out goals on a list, but if they don’t contribute to an overriding purpose, then what has really been accomplished? I know it easy to get mired in details, the mindlessness of going from one task to another, but although it might be acceptable to put off certain to-do’s, thinking about life’s purpose can’t be trivialized, it is why we exist. It may help answer the important question on all of our minds: “What is the point?”