If life is a journey and the statement, “ten years down the road” is true, then what would you like to see in your rear view mirror?

Modern terms like “YOLO” and #noregrets have attempted to encapsulate this feeling that every one of us tends to have at some point or another but in a rather shallow and misused way. What do you actually want to do in your life to make it worth it in the end?

Another longer lasting theme is immortality: that timeless search for it that is so often seen in mythology. It’s what makes fame so enticing to so many: feeling like you mean something to the entirety of the world. The successes in this are people like Julius Caesar and Shakespeare. They have the immortal names: although they can’t live forever, their legacies won’t be forgotten by the human race.

And then there’s us. One in 9 billion. I think it’s been touched upon enough in other places to avoid delving into saying too much about how fame is overrated and not as fulfilling as most initially expect. And there are ways in which we touch the people around us day to day that are so much richer than being the headline of a tabloid could ever be.

We have an innate want or need to be felt by other human beings. It’s magnified by our insecurities but it is also entirely natural. We want to feel noticed by those around us, or justified by their good opinions of us. How many people can say with absolute honesty that they don’t care what a single other human being thinks about them? I know I am definitely not one of those desperately few and inhuman people. I care about the views of my friends, my family, and the people that I know, trust, love, and value in their persons and in their opinions. I value their esteem because I value their opinions. It means so much more to have their support when I know it’s based on good reasoning. It is this inner natural quality that makes us want to be remembered. We’re afraid of being inconsequential.

Being a part of that statistic 1:9 000,000,000,000, which we all are, can be daunting. Just look at all those zeroes. All those zeroes and one nine. Well, I don’t know about you but I want to be the nine.

I want my back mirror to be filled with nines. Bursting with colourful nines from all over the place. I want to look back and think wasn’t that a life to live.

Now the question is how we get all those nines. What are my nines? 

Happiness is the easy answer. But what goes into making happiness? I want to furnish the insides of my brain with knowledge and experiences that help fill my head with relevant and interesting questions. I want to surround myself with people that challenge my thoughts and my way of thinking so that I’m constantly refurbishing into new and better ideas. I want to see sunrises and sunsets, stories filled with laughter and songs and smiles: smiles that I helped create, laughter that I helped sing. I want to travel to places I’ve never been, and revisit some I have. I want to fulfill my hopes and dreams: I want to publish a book.

I want to a see a life. One that was fun to live.

I’m not so interested in making my mark on the world. Because sooner or later there won’t be the world I know to leave a mark on. I’d rather live my life for me, something that lasts as long as I need it to. I’d rather make it the best life I can live, and leave it with a fulfillment.

But to do that, I’ve got to go do all those wonderful things I’ve set my sights on. And I’m luckier than some that I have my health and my youth to help me do just that.

I need to stop saying “after school,” or “next year,” or “when I have the time and the money.” I need to start realizing that I can’t make excuses forever. I need to start saving for my nines, putting time away for them, realizing that next year means now.

So I ask you: what do you want to see in your rearview mirror? And when are you going to start collecting your nines?