From a section of my personal ethical will
1. We are here to love and be loved.
I wish I would have been able to really know that in my heart much earlier in my life. Thankfully, "I got it" before my deathbed! That is the single greatest gift of my health diagnosis. It woke me up to the message of love.
2. We are here to learn.
To learn what it means to be alive and to experience the wonders of the natural world, the marvels of the mind, and the gifts of the heart. During my lifetime, I've been an avid reader -- mostly non-fiction books about human development, spirituality, and writing -- as well as some fiction favorites by authors such as John Irving, Milan Kundera, Barbara Kingsolver, and Marilynne Robinson. Poetry also came into my life in my mid-40's as a result of my new love relationship and my work with men (Pablo Neruda, Rilke, Robert Bly, William Stafford, and others). I encourage everyone to read, read, read, everything that attracts you. It will enrich your inner life and can make a big difference in your "outer" experience.
3. We are here to create.
To create whatever matters most to you. Something that engages your heart and uplifts your spirit. Something that inspires you and makes you feel alive in your whole being. I experience "creation" most often when I'm teaching something I have learned -- when I read, study, write, and design a workshop for a group of interested people -- and engage them face-to-face, inspiring them to trust the truth of their inner experience and make changes in their lives that reflect their true self. You know that you're "there" when you are so full of energy that "clock time" disappears. You experience "eternal time" --which may be as close to "eternal life" as any of us will ever experience.
So, whatever you do, don't wait ... don't delay until next year ... or until retirement. Do what you love. Be the work you love to do. As the poet Rumi says, "It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you!"
4. We are here to serve.
To make a contribution to life, to the people that we love (and to those we'll never know), to the Earth in gratitude for its gifts to us all. Service needs to come from the heart, not from the head that says "you should ..." You'll know whatever service is right for you by the joy you'll feel in the doing of it. You may even be overwhelmed every so often by the tears of joy that arise from the gratitude in your heart. By giving, you truly do receive far beyond whatever your mind may conceive.
You leave a legacy of your life in your love for your fellow human (and other) beings, your life learnings, your creative endeavors, and your service to people and the planet.