Recent deaths of high profile people such as singer/songwriter David Bowie and Celine Dion's husband René Angelil have caused many people to rethink what's important to them concerning their life's goals.
When you really start to think about it, what you might have thought was important to you is not necessarily so.
Ask anybody what their one goal in life is and they will have difficulty coming up with that one thing they want to achieve before they die. They can't make up their minds as to whether it should be a successful career with mansions in exotic locations, a wonderful lifestyle with the best clothes, food and cars or something else. What that something else is, however, they're not quite sure about.
Have you thought about it? If you were to identify one thing you would like to have achieved before you die what would it be?
You, too, may be tempted to consider many things but may not have considered what I'm going to suggest to you right now. We think we want material things and there's nothing wrong with that. We think we want a successful career, and there's nothing wrong with that, but do you know what you really want?
I can tell you in three words: to die empty.That's what every human being actually wants but doesn't know it. Every one of us has been given many gifts, talents, qualities and abilities. We all have these in unique combinations so that no two of us on the planet are the same. That means that nobody else can give to humanity what we can.
It is therefore a tragedy when any human being dies "full" - still with unused gifts, talents, qualities and abilities that were never used. Sadly many die untimeously through accidents and through other causes such as illness or criminal actions. The world will then never know what they might have contributed had they been able to live long and meaningful lives.
We all must die - no-one gets out of life alive - but what we do before we die is what will ensure whether we die sad, bitter and resentful or at peace with ourselves.
Why not plan on dying empty? Plan on using all your gifts up before you die so that you die with them all used up.
To do this, you first of all have to identify what your gifts are. If you don't do this, you will never know what you have to use up. They're called gifts for two reasons. Firstly, they're gifts that have been given to us and, secondly, they're intended to be gifts we share with others for the benefit of humanity.
You may have a gift of kindness or love or compassion. It may be that you have a gift for singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing or some other form of art. Then again, your gift may be listening to, encouraging or inspiring others. What about the gift of teaching others - of imparting knowledge? That's a gift too. On the other hand, your gift may be a gift for building and/or running a business which creates employment for others. The list is endless -
Whatever gifts you have, I urge you to start using them. Very few people are one-trick-ponies. Very few people have only one gift. Many of those gifts in one person are very different. Don't let that put you off. You were given your gifts for a very specific reason - you were the one considered best able to use them in that combination.
Make a point of developing and using every gift you have been given and you will be surprised at the impact that it will have on your happiness and fulfilment as well as on your career success.
Don't let self-limiting beliefs rob you and the world of the benefit of the gifts you have got to give humanity. Instead, start working on using up all those gifts so that one day, when you finally lay your head down to rest eternally, you die empty.
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.