Living only for now is being dead short-sighted while the reality is that what you do here on earth someday will outlive you. For long after the breathe in your nostrils are gone, your works and acts will still be speaking for you.
So, what value are you adding to those around you? What memories will the thoughts of you trigger in the minds of people when you’ve gone to be with your maker? Will it be good, bad, sweet or bitter? Only you can tell. The litmus test of your achievements is how better it has made the world become long after you. So, what would the world remember you for?
We all need a mindset and attitude that constantly evaluates self and actions with the view to align or realign for a better and greater legacy.
“Living only for now is being dead short-sighted.”
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish-born inventor inherited an interest in explosives from his father who was a manufacturer of machine tools and explosives for the Tsar’s armies in Russia. While abroad studying chemical engineering, he met a chemist who had invented nitro-glycerine but opposed the use of it for its unpredictably explosive nature. Being an area of his interest, Alfred researched his way to the discovery of what would become a stable and commercially usable nitro-glycerine patented as Dynamite.
Many years later, the death of his brother caused several newspapers to publish obituaries of Alfred in error one of which stated, “The merchant of death is dead“. Condemning him for his invention of dynamite and that he became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before.
“A good reputation is more important than a clean shirt, unlike reputation, the shirt can be washed.”
Alfred shocked and disappointed with what he read became concerned with how he would be remembered. This event brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death and so bequeathed 94% of his entire wealth to establishing five Nobel Prizes, one of which is the Nobel Peace Prize.
Here’s what he had to say, “A good reputation is more important than a clean shirt, unlike reputation, the shirt can be washed.”
What would you be remembered for? What would be written on your tombstone long after you’re gone?
What legacy are you leaving behind? What reputation or impression are people – your children, your family and friends, your neighbours and colleagues, your community and the world at large – going to have about you? It matters what will succeed us long after we’re gone! It’s up to you to decide but nonetheless, I’ll quote one of my favourite authors on this occasion;
“One day, you will stand before God, and he will do an audit of your life, a final exam…God won’t ask about your religion, background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is: What did you do with what I gave you? All the gifts, talents, opportunities, energy, relationships, and resources.” – Rick Warren