12 Ways I Wish to Live a Life with Purpose

Nealy Fisher thinking about her wish for life in lotus pose over a river

Since covid began, many of us have experienced moments of awakening. We have seen loved ones get sick or pass and many of us have been fearful and troubled as we’ve questioned everything we’ve ever known. We’ve attempted, in the process, to put life into perspective. This week we also celebrate the Jewish New Year. It’s a time, historically, of contemplation and reflection-a reset, if you may, for our year and ultimately, the direction of our lives. The Jewish New Year begs us to ask how we’ve lived and how we wish to change. Life is unpredictable and fleeting so, how do you wish to live?

In Steven Covey’s 7 Habits, (which, coincidentally has been virally downloaded and read during covid,) he suggests an exercise of walking through your funeral. It sounds depressing but stick with me here. I shared my own experience a few weeks ago while at a friend’s funeral the other week and the profound takeaways I left with, as I walked through his passing. 

I contemplate the end because it creates purpose. Because if you know your time is finite, isn’t there more of an urgency to live on purpose? Here is a powerful exercise that I suggest you try. 

If you die tomorrow, what would you have wished for your life so that you leave with no regrets? Here are 12 of mine!

  1. I wish I was more present with my kids. And less on my phone.
  2. I wish I did a better job at making my kids feel like the most loved person on this planet and that that love supports them in accomplishing anything in life.
  3. I wish I chose to prioritize my husband over my work.
  4. I wish I called my parents more and siblings more often.
  5. I wish that when I called my parents, that I’d be brave and ask them all the things I am too afraid to ask.
  6. I wish I was kinder and more empathetic. 
  7. I wish I was more charitable and that my charity helped reduce the great suffering in this world.
  8. I wish I used my time more wisely and less wastefully.
  9. I wish I spent more of my days in appreciation rather than expectation.
  10. I wish I didn’t waste so much time caring about what others thought of me.
  11. I wish I ate more pizza without worrying about getting fat. 
  12. I wish I had enjoyed all of the gifts god has has given me and had some fun along the way.

Write down your list of things you will have wished for one day, in the end. Then stop wishing and start making every day count by remembering that your time is finite and today is the new tomorrow. If you’re looking for more ways to live a life with more meaning, here are a few life lessons from my time in Africa.