What REALLY matters to you?

Before I get to the punch line…

“What kind of a life do you want to look back upon?”  Whenever I struggle with decisions or prioritizing, this question or some variant of it, typically helps lift the mist.  I often force myself to imagine that I am in my 80s or so, looking back at my life’s collection of relationships, accomplishments, failures, adventures and other experiences.

I have a number of reasons that I do this.  For years I have decided to take the advice of self-development writer Stephen Covey and “Begin with the End in Mind.”  It helps me realize what is important as opposed to what is “urgent”.

But there’s more.  Forcing myself to think about what kind of a life I want to look back upon somehow makes my dreams and extravagant goals seem more doable, more achievable.  I am not so sure why.  Maybe it’s mind manipulation but somehow, visualizing accomplishment makes it seem easier to pull off.  I am less intimidated by my bigger goals and I feel more empowered and enlightened about the day-to-day things that need doing.  This kind of reflection also helps me realize when I have an opportunity to do something above and beyond for someone else.

The point behind CultureMutt

As the “About” section states, “Live generously” is CultureMutt’s most basic mantra… It is all about savvy, global do-gooding…   CultureMutt will help you understand global cultures and politics in the context of the powerful forces for good that are being unleashed daily by creative, cosmopolitan do-gooders the world over.  These social innovators are brilliant people that are architects of positive change. CultureMutt is all about celebrating their creations and brainstorming ideas for how to build on them.  It will show you how to join this tribe of ambitious game changers.”

An opportunity to give to something that really matters

Today, as I was working my way through the latest creations of my favorite bloggers, I came across this Tim Ferriss post (yes, I am a fan of preposterous proportions” : “My Unusual $20,000 Birthday Gift (Plus: Free Roundtrip Anywhere in the World)”   Tim is absolutely one of the “architects of positive change” that I aim to emulate and write about.  He’s turning 34 and instead of b-day presents he’s asking people to donate to Room to Read – World Change Starts with Educated Children that, among other things, builds libraries in Asia and Africa.  His post invites readers to give to the cause and includes the hook that if you give and spread the word according to the conditions below, he’ll include you in a drawing for a free round-the-world air ticket:

No later than 11:59pm PST this Sunday, July 31st:
– Spread the word however you can. Send people to this post or to my library page.
– Leave a comment below telling me what you did (Facebook, Twitter, e-mail blast, add to your e-mail signature, encourage employees/friends to do the same, etc.). Measurement of any type gets huge bonus points.
– Lastly, answer the following question at the top of your comment: “What does education mean to you?”

Yes, if you are like me, the RTW air is a great incentive.  But the cause is even more compelling.  I am absolutely convinced that lack of education contributes heavily to our biggest problems world wide.  Literacy seriously makes a difference since it allows for education and self-improvement.  Libraries are an absolutely vital service for a community.  And Tim is putting his money where his mouth is.  Each library costs $20,000 to build and Tim will match $20,000 brought in by donations with $20,000 of his own money.  The charity stresses sustainability, guaranteeing that the libraries “will also benefit from three years of librarian training and on-going support from Room to Read. Most importantly, over 6 million children in Asia and Africa will have access to life-changing educational resources”

So please do what you can for this project.  You and I choose to live generously by making small daily moves like the decision to give here.



Bjorn Karlman



3 thoughts on “What REALLY matters to you?”

  1. Great post Bjorn! I like the view that great goals seem more achievable when u think about them as if they were in retrospect. I’ll have to make sure to use that tip!

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