I didn’t know it, but my life was about to change

Every day starts afresh. We wake up and get out of bed and step into a brand-new day.

A day that we haven’t had before. Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day (where the day repeats). We put the same foot on the ground, put on the same clothes, eat the same breakfast, and do the same tasks.

But it’s never the same. And we never know if something is about to happen that might just change everything.

That could be something bad. The doctor tells us we have cancer. Your boss tells you you’re fired. Or you have an accident that dings your car or worse, you.


The Power of Ideas

But there is another factor at play here. Our lives can change in the blink of an idea.

That is why I love ideas. In an instant, everything can change just by the way we think about it.

One minute the world is flat, the next it’s round. I’m happy, then sad. I’m a failure, I’m successful.

My usual day starts with me putting on my shoes and going for a walk (3 kilometres) to The Local. (Yes, it is called that.) I order a long black and I sit on the railing out the front and plan my day.

But on this day, I didn’t plan my day. Instead, I started writing down my unfinished book projects. I don’t know what prompted this. My mind just wandered down this dark alley.

There were eight books on the list. These aren’t just ideas for a book. They aren’t just one-line titles that sounded like a fun thing to do. Instead, they all have lots of pages of ideas and thinking time devoted to them. And I’ve just never gotten around to finishing them. One on the list is completely written but I’ve never released it publicly. (I’ll blame the pandemic for that – even though the fault is totally mine.)

Plus, there were five art projects that I’d started but never fulfilled. One project has been exhibited but the other four have never been shared with the world.

My Life’s Work

In reading my lists, I went from a feeling of hope and optimism for the day ahead to one of despair and disappointment.

It wasn’t just that I hadn’t finished tasks or projects. And it wasn’t even about my books or my art. It was my life. This was my life’s work. And I was failing life.

I had spent a large part of my life reading, writing and creating but never shared the results publicly – because I hadn’t finished them.

And the thought of dropping dead without fulfilling my life’s work was the ultimate disappointment. I imagined myself on my proverbial deathbed surrounded by friends and family regretting not finishing important things. I’d ask myself, ‘Did I make my mark on the world? No, I didn’t finish and share my life’s work’.

And the caricature of my headstone saying, ‘Here lies Geoff, his life finished, but his projects didn’t.’

Yes, that’s me being overly dramatic. But it’s also not far from what I felt.

What the #$?@! do I do now?

But the good thing about breakdowns (when life doesn’t go to plan) is that you can adjust your course. If you take a wrong turn, you can stop and turn around to find the right route. (Especially when you have Siri onboard.)

And that’s why I love ideas. One minute you’re flying, the next you’ve crash-landed. But just as easily you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.

And that’s what this new series of videos and blog posts is going to be all about.

The new series ‘Life’s Work’ is a playlist on YouTube and a category on my blog. It may even become a book (if I finish it).

I’ll share my journey of fulfilling (hopefully) my Life’s Work. And along the way, I’ll share some ideas that might help you fulfil your life’s work. Come along for the ride.

Here are the next posts in this series:

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