Man, you gotta cut back on your raw meat! Only a 41 year old could have this attitude about life. Having forty meetings a day is not something to be proud of, in my opinion. In fact, in my 73 years of life, I have looked back and assessed meetings to be mostly unproductive, macho-shows that accomplish something only rarely.
Happiness and “success” for me has been about people. Don’t get me wrong. I own two successful international businesses and have generated almost $3 billion in sales, most of it in the past 6 years. I enjoy the business world and the challenges (and friendships) of dealing with others, especially the exposure to many different cultures.
Believe me, I know I am going to die. I lost a 46-year-old son two years ago to cancer. It can happen to any of us. And I understand the “legacy” concept. I have two wonderful daughters and a young son now who are my legacy.
When I was younger, I thought the world could be reduced to some simple concepts, thus why I studied physics. Then, in to my Ph.D. research, I started to envision the world as a very complex construct that I wanted to understand. Now, in my twilight years (although more active than ever in my business and personal life), I have reconciled these two viewpoints by accepting that the world is very complex, but I can carve out a part of it that is simple, and enjoy and thrive in that part, without worrying about the rest. I guess that’s part of what you are trying to convey in your article.
The most important part of your article, in my opinion, is the part about if you are diagnosed terminally, what will you do? I have thought about that, and accepted that I have not had a perfect life, but I have contributed to other’s happiness and welfare. I have almost decided that life is a “zero-sum game.” I have classmates who have never take any risks in life, who have been kind to all others, and are totally content. I have been on a high-risk path, destroyed 3 marriages in the process, but hopefully have off-set those with kind acts to others. I have three specific instances of literally saving someone’s life. My high school year-book editors selected the phrase “The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps his cool” to position under my senior photo. They nailed me! As hard as I have tried to change my personality, it just keeps coming back to that simple phrase.
Anyway (as Dennis Miller used to close his TV rants), “Of course, that’s only my opinion; I could be wrong.”
But thanks for the thought-provoking article.