In a galaxy far, far away (in the 1970’s) I attended my first real estate investing seminar. I was young and ambitious and had no money, but I had spunk. Mr. Grant may have hated spunk, but it was going to make me rich.
Yes, I was scared. I’m sure most of the people in the room were, too. The trainer knew this, of course and spent time encouraging us. He suggested we adopt the “I.G.D.S.” philosophy. That stands for, “I’m gonna die someday” and is meant to suggest that we get on with life because it will one day be over.
What are you waiting for? This is your life, not a dress rehearsal. Do or not do, there is no try. (Okay Star Wars wasn’t out yet. I got a little ahead of myself.)
Years later, Steve Jobs echoed this sentiment when he said,
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Over the years, I’ve reminded myself that I’m gonna die someday and I had better get on with things. Sometimes, this helped me do just that. I overcame inertia, stopped researching and planning, and got things done. Some big things, too.
As I have aged and thought more about my mortality, I realize that the clock is still ticking and there are many things I still want to do. I.G.D.S. and I had better get on it.
I also know there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. But I have a plan.
My plan is to give myself permission to dabble. A taste of this and a taste of that. I don’t have to be “all in” with every project on my bucket list. I can sample things, not with the intent to build something big necessarily, but to savor the feeling of doing it.
Of course the challenge is that I will fall in love with what I’m doing and get completely sidetracked. But I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing.”
Steve Jobs dreamed big dreams and took big chances. He make lots of mistakes and more than a few enemies, but no matter what anyone says about him, I think we can all agree that he left a huge footprint in the sand.
So, how about it? What have you been putting off until “someday”?
Life is short and so is Danny DeVito. He didn’t let that stop him, and neither should you.