A man in trouble walks to town to seek advise from the local wise sage. He tells the wise sage that he is worried about dying, about leaving things undone in life. The wise sage tells him to do the best he can, to believe in himself, to put a plan together and try to take action. The man leaves the wise sage thinking that is what he is going to do. He arrives home and promptly forgets the advice.
That evening he goes out for a walk before bed. As he walks he is suddenly paralyzed with fear when a snake jumps out and almost bites him. He recognizes it as one of the most poisonous snakes in his part of the country. Just as it looks like it is about to strike again, an owl swoops down and grabs it.
The man goes home, sits down at his desk and writes out his plan. The next morning he has the first 5 items on the list crossed off before dawn.