I visited New Orleans recently and it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t as excited by Bourbon Street, which I found a bit tacky and dirty, like an American version of a Greek party island. However, the rest of the city with its architecture, restaurants and history made for a very enjoyable trip. I spent 5 nights there, which felt about the right amount of time.

Outside one of the museums an artist, Candy Chang, had used a wall to allow people to finish the sentence “Before I Die…” with chalk. It must have been 25 metres long and had received a lot of interesting responses. Happily, there weren’t too many responses like “I want to be rich” – my next question is always how do you want to achieve that? The answers were what would be expected – there was a lot around families, experiences and love. I thought it was a very clever artwork.

After all, how do we really split up our lives? Is it in pursuit of those things that we want to die before we die, or do we allow ourselves to become distracted? If we’re truly honest, for the vast majority of us, we become distracted too often. I think it is a worthwhile question for everyone to ask themselves and try to answer without using a “but” at the end of the sentence about why it can’t be achieved. Instead truly think about what you could do to achieve your goals.

It also started me thinking about my own answers. I think I’ve achieved my initial goals. I wanted to find a woman I truly loved, without compromising due to expediency. I wanted to live in London and the US. I wanted to get to a point in my business career where I can start to make a difference to the way a company runs. I had the wonderful experience of figure skating growing up and great friends to share the experiences along the way. I have very rarely been bored. If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t have regrets. So, what do I really have to lose since I’ve hit my initial life goals? None of the past can be taken away from any of us, even if it subsequently goes.

It is too easy to live your life in fear of the unknown and not to take the bold decisions you should. Sam Walton calls this having a “bias for action”, a willingness to take a chance. I’d say you give your life a lot more opportunity by being bold than conservative. It I show that attitude and it doesn’t pan out, I know I can accept that.

I’ve started to review what I now want to do “before I die”. But, I’ve resolved that it won’t be about fear of loss, but excitement about what is to come.