To: The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
In her recent TED presentation. Before I Die, I Want to…, Candy Chang, New Orleans artist, shares a project that changed her life forever. She is knows for using public space and giving people the opportunity to express their ideas on questions in the community. The death of a friend gave her pause to reflect on her own life, and also the inspiration to give people the opportunity to express their thoughts about what they want to accomplish before they died.
“… I turned the side of this abandoned house into a giant chalkboard and stenciled it with a fill-in-the-blank sentence: “Before I die, I want to ….” so anyone walking by can pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.
I didn’t know what to expect from this experiment, but by the next day, the wall was entirely filled out, and it kept growing. And I’d like to share a few things that people wrote on this wall.
“Before I die, I want to be tried for piracy.” (Laughter) “Before I die, I want to straddle the International Date Line.” “Before I die, I want to sing for millions.” “Before I die, I want to plant a tree.” “Before I die, I want to live off the grid.” “Before I die, I want to hold her one more time.” “Before I die, I want to be someone’s cavalry.” “Before I die, I want to be completely myself.”
Pick up the chalk and walk to the wall. Pause to reflect on what you will choose to be or do. What words complete the sentence? Don’t limit yourself to one sentence, but fill the sides of the house – with commitments to yourself, your family, your community, those you serve and your profession. These will be your bucket list entries for your journey. And add to it as you go. Let your wall be a magnificent testament to all you dreamed and accomplished. There is so much more that we have not yet dreamed or imagined. Remember Mahatma Gandhi’s counsel: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” Life is so very beautiful.
Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!
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