Next week it will be Colin’s 35th Birthday, many of you know that Colin, my younger brother, passed away more than 11 years ago now, and each year that goes by I come to terms with it in a different way.
I wouldn’t say that it gets easier. I think I get better at understanding it.
Death, that is.
Each year I learn something new, and this year I learned a lot about mortality. That was definitely a theme for me this year.
The one thing I want to pick up on is legacy, because this applies to what the work we do as business people and marketers.
Colin was 23 when he died, he didn’t have any kids, and at the time, none of his brothers had either.
So there’s no one living on from Colin directly, and he never had the chance to be an Uncle.
So Colin’s legacy lives on in people like me — his direct family and friends.
What I’ve been thinking about recently is that in a very short space of time, let’s say the next 40–50 years, I could very well be the only person alive that ever met Colin in the flesh.
And once I pass, who will remember Colin? Perhaps he lives on in stories we tell our kids. But then when they pass on, who will remember Colin?
Probably no one.
…and this got me thinking about our own legacy. Who is our work for? Will we be remembered? What is our legacy?
Have you ever thought about that?
Here’s the question I’ve been pondering recently that I’d like to give over to you now:
In 100 years, who will be remembered?
In 100 years we will surely be dead, and so will our children. Their children, our grand children, will be in their latter years of life, and perhaps dead…will we be remembered then?
Probably not. We will be a name on a family tree…maybe not even that!
In as little as 100 years, our “legacy”, whatever that is, will be forgotten. It won’t matter.
Let’s say you do very well and you get a school named after you, or a library, or a street…still, will you *really* be remembered?
You might then ask, just like I have been, what’s the point of all of this, then?
What’s the point of our work, our life on this planet?
Well…this is how I see it.
Regardless of how long you have here on the earth, it isn’t about creating an everlasting legacy, because it’s not going to last. When you’re dead it doesn’t matter who remembers you. In as little as 100 years you will be completely forgotten.
Our time on this planet should be occupied by one thing, and one thing alone: to be the best version of ourselves. To be great people. To work on living a good life. Accepting the challenges we face knowing that it’s our duty to do so, and it’s what we need to do to be the best we can be.
Everyone around you right now benefits from a better you. Better mum or dad, better brother, better son, better friend, better business person, marketer, sales person…
Colin had 23 years, I’ve had 37 so far, you’ve had less or more, and the length doesn’t really matter…it’s what you do with it that matters the most.
So what’s it going to be?
Are you going to accept your responsibility? Are you going accept the challenges that life gives you? Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? Are you ready to do your best work?
If so, you now you know what you need to do.
It’s time to get to work.