I have been wanting to share this for a few days now. It’s something I got in an email last week and it really made an impact on me! It made me pause and think for a few minutes about what life is all about, and what the end goal really is.
Apparently, this is referred to as the “Charles Schulz Philosophy” (the creator of the Peanuts comics). It involves doing a little exercise. (You don’t actually have to write anything down- just think about the answers). 🙂
- Name the 5 wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last 5 Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last 5 Miss America winners.
- Name 10 people who have won the Pulitzer prize or Nobel prize.
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor.
- Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
Now, pause and see how you did. If you are like me, you probably didn’t do very well. It’s okay. I cannot even remember who won the Super Bowl last year (and I need to think hard to even recall who just played THIS year!!). But yet, these are all highly accomplished people- the very best in their fields. They went all out. They did ALL the hard work. And still, their great achievements fade away and with time, people forget.
Okay. Now, on to Part 2- a few more questions.
- List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name 3 friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name 5 people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of 5 people you enjoy spending time with.
Wow. Yes! I can answer all of these, easily. This made me think back on so many people from my life that have stood out over time. My 2nd grade teacher. My 4th grade teacher. My AP English teacher. My volleyball coach. Family. My best friends. Random people I worked with at McDonald’s when I was 15. My orchestra teacher. The old couple that appeared out of nowhere at the theater entrance to hand me a free, front section ticket upgrade at a Van Cliburn piano concert when I was probably about 12 (replacing my nose bleed section seats). My high school piano teacher. And so on.
NONE of them would qualify for the top list…but they meant so much to me! I remember them.
This also made me think about what we are teaching our kids, what we strive for…yes, we want to encourage success, hard work, etc. But clearly, to simply “be the best” is not the end game.
I think if I had to choose, I’d prefer my kids end up being listed someday on someone’s Part 2 list than a Part 1 list. 🙂
I am grateful for all of my past coaches and teachers over the years. Thinking about this exercise really made me realize this- there is just something about learning things from OTHER adults that are not your parents!
4 thoughts on “What really matters in life?”
what a fun and enlightening exercise! I also failed at part 1 and happily answered all part 2.
Wow, I really love this. Have never heard this before! What a really illuminating exercise. Thanks for sharing!
Wow I had not heard of this exercise either but it is really impactful to think about. I’d definitely want my kids to strive to be on the 2nd list, too. Makes me smile to think about the people who would end up on mine!!