I was recently asked as part of an exercise, to list 25 things I would like to do before I die. What a waste of time, I thought, this exercise will be trivial drivel.
However, once I got past the initial impulse of glib responses -- what glib responses, you ask? Well, a few that tickle my sense of humor would be:
- place huge beanie/propeller caps on Mt. Rushmore
- slip a Whoopie cushion into Oprah's chair
- set a bratwurst on a rotisserie over JFK's eternal flame
- save a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico
So, as I was saying, once the initial glib responses were past, I found this exercise to be no small task. It's quite easy to list a few things, but 25 becomes difficult. And I found myself scratching out some items just as soon as I wrote them down. On the other hand, some items jumped onto paper with a will of their own and actually surprised me when I saw them.
Here's my list in no particular order (except numerical, of course).
- Achieve financial independence.
- Learn to speak Spanish fluently.
- Learn to weld.
- Visit Italy.
- Visit Spain.
- Act in a movie.
- See my son hold his son.
- Learn to fly.
- Watch a sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji.
- Visit the Bahamas by boat.
- Weigh 225 lbs. (or less) the rest of my life.
- See the Aurora Borealis.
- Take up photography as a hobby.
- Become a writer.
- Learn to really drive my Porsche.
- Read a book per week for the rest of my life.
- Fish and hunt more.
- Help solve a truly major problem. A world-changing solution.
- Become proficient at magic.
- Receive a black belt in karate with my son.
- See my wife truly and finally quit smoking.
- Taste the perfect vodka martini.
- Change someone's life for the better.
- Try a different career.
- Find time to do all these things.
Try this exercise and see if you don't find it to be an interesting activity. And if you care to share your list with other people, 43things is a web site dedicated to this type of list.
I entered the world on this date 45 years ago, and so I've been thinking a good bit about the nature of time lately. Time is an absolute tyrant in my life and it's my most limited resource. I can always make more money, but I can't make more time. That's why your time is the most important gift you can ever give and why needlessly consuming someone's time is the greatest theft. I jealously guard my time because as my life has matured, my responsibilities and time commitments have naturally grown correspondingly. So, I'm busier than ever yet I have less and less time. The faster I go, the faster time passes.
Albert Einstein thought a lot about time and stunned the world with his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905. The first postulate of his theory states that the speed of light is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the source of the light. The second postulate is that all observers moving at constant speed (not under acceleration) should observe the same physical laws. Apparently, Einstein was also a great inspiration to rock-and-roller Gene Simmons.
Imagine a spaceship traveling at half the speed of light. If the spaceship turns on its headlights, an observer on the spaceship will measure the speed of that light at 186,000 miles/second. Paradoxically, an observer on Earth will also measure the speed of the spaceship's light at 186,000 miles/second. Since velocity is expressed as distance divided by time (v=d/t), it stands to reason that if the velocity of light is the same for both observers then time and/or distance must vary. This is indeed the case; experiments have proven that both time and distance vary with speed. In fact, the faster you go, the slower time passes.
Ironic, isn't it?