Live life to the full and make a will
IF TODAY was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?
If it would be a day spent ticking off a never-ending bucket list or one filled with regret then maybe you aren’t living the life you should be living.
Award-winning scientist, businessman and philanthropist Sir Ray Avery, estimates he has less than 4000 days left of his life and he intends to make each one count.
The Mt Eden father-of-two is supporting the newly launched Will to Live website which aims to help people better prepare for death so they can focus on getting the most out of life.
The website provides the tools to help people create their own wills and bucket lists and allows them to read the bucket lists of some wellknown and everyday New Zealanders.
‘‘We’re all going to die,’’ Sir Ray says.
‘‘For most people it will be a big surprise but it won’t for me because I’m planning it backwards.
‘‘If you’ve got this great big bucket list at the end of your life it probably means that you haven’t lived your life properly because you haven’t done it and you wanted to.
‘‘Don’t just do things at the end of your life,’’ he says.
Everyone is born with about 30,000 days to live.
‘‘I know I am in the last tenth of my life, so every day I dream big and go for it.
‘‘If you are starting a business or some endeavour you plan what you are going to do and, if you are smart, you have an exit strategy,’’ Sir Ray says.
But few of us apply that thinking to our own lives. ‘‘It’s not just about making a will. ‘‘It’s about willing ourselves to live our lives better than we do.’’
Live your life according to a plan, he says.
‘‘I’m not saying that it has to be a standard-operating system that is very sterile and dour but the worst part is waking up at 78 years old on your deathbed realising you haven’t achieved anything.’’
So if you want to retire at 60 and sail around the world, you need to start setting yourself benchmarks to achieve that goal now.
Sir Ray’s two young daughters are his main driving force.
‘‘When I die I want them to say; ‘Dad was a good guy. Not just to us, but he tried to make the world a better place’.’’
Olympic gold medallist Barbara Kendall says she still likes to plan ahead for where she’ll be and what she’ll be doing in 20 years time.
‘‘If the world ended tomorrow I could die a really happy person because I’ve done everything I wanted to do so far with the time I’ve got,’’ she says.
Aucklanders are the worst nationwide for not having wills, according to figures released by Public Trust last year, with 57 per cent without one.
Public law expert Mai Chen is the brainchild behind Will to Live.
‘‘I am concerned that so many people in New Zealand haven’t planned for the future,’’ she says.
‘‘I wanted to make it easier for them to protect those who are important to them and to give them the motivation to get on and live their lives to the full.’’
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch a video of Sir Ray Avery talking about his philosophy to life.