Life as a fulfilled project by Anderson Willinger

Every Monday and every Thursday, Ricardo Semler, a Brazilian businessman and visionary, learns to die. He wants to figure out how to deal with time if he learns that he has only a few months left to live. His son brought him to it. “Dad, why are we in the world?” My three-year-old son once asked me,” Semler explains to TED. When you answer that, you will either find that you do not know or that you are doing something that you do not enjoy. You will understand that this requires change. Embark on something that is more important to you. Semler solved it. He has his days dying. He writes a book in them, devotes himself to educational projects. He wants the world to be wise, so he founded a school where he teaches according to the ancient principle of kalokagathia. He considers achieving the harmony between beauty and good as the ideal of human action.” Children learn about the things that are most important to life and about which we don’t really know much. About love, about family matters, about death,” says Semler. He is convinced that thanks to such education, children will choose a path in their lives that will make sense to them.


What is the meaning of life?

The key to feeling fulfilled lies in finding the meaning of life. This idea was shared by Viktor E. Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist with Czech roots. Based on his lifelong experience in clinical practice and after the trauma from the concentration camp survivor, he defined three principles that give meaning to life.

The first – the execution of the act. It doesn’t have to be any big heroism. According to Frankl, every act done with one another becomes meaningful.

The second – to experience an experience that enriches and elevates, with the highest value being love.

And the third area where one learns the meaning of life is suffering.

The opposite of life-filled feelings is the emptiness of life, boredom, cynicism. If you are not doing something that makes sense to you, you will get bored and look for alternative activities. You only catch straws. You have no anchor.


We don’t have deadlines for the most important things

Tim Urban aptly describes the vigour and taste we do in TED as he discusses how we procrastinate. How much time and energy we spend on making plans, drawing schedules and then chasing deadlines! “We don’t have deadlines for the most important things in life. We are cheating on the people and relationships we care about,” says Tim Urban on his Wait but Why blog.

When you spread out your life like Tim in the blog The Tail End, nicely neatly crammed into hundreds and hundreds of cubes in a graphic mosaic, you can easily calculate what you can still achieve in the end of your life.

After all, Tim calculates it on examples from his life. “I am 42 years old; I am married, I have two children aged 6 and 8 and I will probably live to be 80 in good condition. How many more times do I change jobs? Assuming I retire at 68 and the job changes on average once every 3.5 years, it will be about 7 times. Maybe I’ll read 500 more books, order pizza 600 times, go on vacation 60 times… You can easily calculate that for things you do regularly. But there are things you don’t plan for. Maybe how many times do I kiss my wife? I kiss my wife twice a day, so it will be 27,740 times.

How many times do I see my parents? My parents are 70, I see them once a month. So about 120 times? I’ll only hug my parents 120 times now…”


The resulting number for events that you do not have in your diary will surely surprise you. You only spend a small fraction of your time with the people you love! What with this? You will not correct the past. But it’s still time to save something. Just realizing how time is running out, and that’s why you want to change something, is a small victory. It’s up to everyone what space he gives to the people and relationships he cares about. They make our lives meaningful and our own project.


Article was prepared by Lucie Teisler, Managing Partner of Anderson Willinger, executive search.

Share this post