I was watching Fight Club the other day for probably the 30th time and one particular scene really stuck with me. On a rainy night, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is recklessly driving a car with the Narrator (Ed Norton) in the passenger seat and a few members of Project Mayhem in the back. As he steers the car into oncoming traffic and accelerates, Tyler asks:
Tyler: Guys, what would you wish you’d done before you died?
Ricky: Paint a self-portrait.
Mechanic: Build a house.
Tyler: [to Narrator] And you?
Narrator: I don’t know. Turn the wheel now, come on!
Tyler: You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?
Narrator: I don’t know, I wouldn’t feel anything good about my life, is that what you want to hear me say? Fine. Come on!
Tyler: Not good enough.
It occurred to me that, faced with the same question, I couldn’t instantly come up with an answer. And that’s sad. Although I painstakingly worked out my fitness goals, I somehow had not done the same for any of my other goals. I routinely shake my head at people who head to the gym with no clear purpose defined, but to a large extent, I’ve gone about my whole life that way. I figured it was time for a change.
What would you wish you’d done before you died?
- Visit every continent.
- Sky dive.
- Write a book.
- Deadlift 500lbs.
- Run a 5 minute mile.
- Clean and Jerk 315lbs.
- Run 400m in 55 seconds.
- Do a planche push-up.
- Dunk a basketball.
- Do a backflip.
- Become a recognizable name in the software/CS field.
- Go into outer space and look down at the curvature of planet earth from above.
- Survive for one month like a caveman: that is, live alone in a forest with no modern technologies or comforts.
So, that’s it for now. Some of these goals I may accomplish within a year or two; others, perhaps never at all. It doesn’t matter, so long as I try.