How you want to be remembered can change the way you look at, and live, your Life. The truth is, whether you like it or not, you will be remembered. They key to how you will be remembered really lies in your hands and how you live your Life going forward.
All of us have goals. And we pursue them relentlessly. But, often, all our goals are self-centered. We focus on our financial stability, our families, our children, their education and so on. Some of us, miraculously, find the secret to leading our lives focusing not just on our own welfare, or that of our families, but of our societies too. Few among us dedicate ourselves to making this world a better place. And even fewer just exist – with no idea about ourselves or our world! None of these approaches to Life is wrong. Because there is no right way or wrong way in Life. There’s just one way – which is to do whatever it takes to live our lives fully!
|Douglas Engelbart (1925~2013): Inventor of the Computer Mouse|
An aspect that helps in instantaneously transforming your outlook to Life though is focusing on how you want to be remembered. Douglas Engelbart (1925~2013), the inventor of the computer mouse, who died a few days ago, answered this question, when he was barely 25, and engaged to be married, in 1950. He decided, in response to that question, that:
1. He would focus his career on making the world a better place;
2. Any serious effort to make the world better requires some kind of organized effort;
3. Harnessing the collective human intellect of all the people contributing to effective
solutions was the key;
4. If you could dramatically improve how we do that, you’d be boosting every effort on the
planet to solve important problems — the sooner the better; and
5. Computers could be the vehicle for dramatically improving this capability.
And so began his romance with technology – the invention of the computer mouse, the development of hypertext, networked computers and the precursors to graphical user interfaces. When the world remembers him today, and in the future, it will celebrate his leaving the world a better place – for without the mouse on our machines, our lives would be much more challenged than they already are!
An AFP story in the papers today talks about Nelson Mandela’s views on death and dying. It quotes a 2006 documentary on him where he was clear on how he wanted to be remembered: “I would like it to be said that ‘Here lies a man who has done his duty on earth’. That is all.”
There’s so much clarity in that simple definition. Everything in his Life ties in with that one line.
As we struggle through our daily lives, barely managing to earn a living, maybe doing some good along the way, maybe not finding time even for ourselves, pausing to reflect on how we will be remembered can help us refocus, reenergize and rededicate ourselves to living our lives fully. To make a difference, in our own small ways, to our world – making it a better place to live! And doing our duty on earth in a more fitting, meaningul and fulfilling manner!