Chapter 10. Don't Settle for a Lukewarm Life

It's not important to run on the fast track but on your track. Pretend you have only six months to live, and make three lists. Things you have to do, things you want to do, and things you neither have to do nor want to do. Then for the rest of your life, forget everything on the third list.

Robert Elliot

The key to life is concentration and elimination.


Tom and I went on a hunting trip together, and the nine-hour drive gave us plenty of time to explore the landscape of our lives. Tom told me he had a strong inner yearning to do something more or different with his life, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. He thought maybe he wanted to be in sales instead of customer service. He would be more challenged and doubly compensated. I encouraged him to tell the vice president of the company's sales department his desire. He did and was tactfully rebuffed.

A year later Tom told me he was looking into a radical career change by becoming an emergency medical technician (EMT). It would require two years of education and was not an easy proposition at 33 with a family to support. Tom began by taking night classes and interning every other weekend. Tom told me he was having strong second thoughts about six months into his training, wondering if he could pull this off and thinking about giving up the idea when something dramatic happened.

One day the customer service rep next to Tom didn't look or feel well. Tom asked for his symptoms and ...

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