Remember How I Lived
I believe it is the hope of every man, woman or child to leave something behind. Ok, I am probably wrong. Let me speak from my point of view. As of this post I am 32 years old and a month away from changing that number. As of this moment there is so much I want to leave behind. Is it selfish to want to be remembered at least for a time being after I’ve passed. Is it selfish to want to leave a legacy or a mark on history? No I believe it to be human. Some, no let’s say many wish they could live forever. I’m quite certain if that were the case that would be the TRUE definition of hell. What makes life so amazing is that it is scary, fleeting, and delicate, therefore you have no choice but to make the most of it (unfortunately we don’t always do so). You couldn’t have one side without the other. You couldn’t have happiness without sadness, triumph without failure, and you most certainly can not have life without death.
However you can live on just as Mozart, Shakespeare, Plato and so many others have in the words, hearts and minds of those left behind and the generations that followed. What does the future hold who knows. Are we looking into the matrix and perhaps entering a world where what is real because less and less apparent? Okay, let me not drift off subject here. The point is I do not know how long my story, my persona can live on after I’m gone. However I do know it’s important to the point that my focus is for those whom I know and love to remember me a certain way, and that whoever or whatever is passed on after those closest to me have passed on will remain a mystery, an ambition, but not a priority.
If I lost you a bit I may have lost myself a little as well, which I tend to do. The reason I came up with this “when I die page” and “how I lived” post is something I remembered from a Stephen Covey book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He discussed an exercise in that book ( a book that I highly recommend you read), where in one writes down how he wants to be remembered. The point of the exercise is for you to do it while you’re alive so you can strive for that “memory” while you’re living in the hopes you come close to achieving it when you die. Writing things down or in this case typing them, makes things more real and allows the brain to truly connect with the heart. It allows your psyche to connect with who you want to be, which will then mix with who you actually are and how you execute your goals.
So when I die I want to be remembered for a few things. I want to be remembered as someone who spoke truthfully, yet knew how to time his words. Everyone in their right mind speaks the truth…everyone fucking lies. Some people are just plain delusional. If I could just specify this particular desire a bit more it would that I want to be remembered as someone who thought rationally. Someone who based his words and actions around facts, evidence and proof. I can’t and most certainly won’t always be right. However I am certain about a few issues and it would take “the hand of god” (whom you must know by now I will say with 100 percent certainty does not exist) to sway me from my stance on some of those issues. When it comes to the ridiculous, oh I mean the religious I want to be remembered for my part in fighting against what Christopher Hitchens called, “it’s ultimate stupidity and ultimate wickedness.” However that is on the bottom of what I want to be remembered for and therefore is why I put it out there first. At the same time it plays an important part, an integral one at that of the make up (my make up) that I want left behind, to be remembered by.
In this life I want to accomplish having created fortune for myself, large enough for Makaela to never have to worry about money, and for generations to follow after her. I’m not saying even if I do accomplish this that I will let her grow up to NOT be ambitious and create something of her own. That would go against the “model” I want to leave behind for her. However my point is I want to make sure she’s secure against anything that this world may throw at her. With that being said, I have even more confidence in her chances for success than mine.
I want to be remembered as someone who went after his dreams and took a chance. I took a fucking chance because life is a god damn chance. It’s by the greatest of chance I was born, and born where I was born at that, to whom I was born and every little circumstance that has lead me here is made up of many more great chances (and a few decisions along the way). Actually decisions are all we really have in this world. So I want to be remembered for the choice I made, which was to go out and live life on my terms, based on what I know to be good. Not necessarily always right, but definitely always striving for what is best.
Also I want to be remembered as someone who “fought” for what I know to be good and true. If even just the slightest change is possible as that is usually how change comes about (slight, tiny changes but numerous over time), from my contributions I will have left something important behind in my eyes.
The most important thing I want to be remembered by and this applies to one person and one person alone, is that I loved my daughter with all my heart and did everything and anything to make sure she not only knew that, but felt it 100% in her heart, mind and soul. In every fiber of her being and in every fiber of mine I want her to remember me as a light, a positive one, that steered her in the right direction, yet allowed for her to grow into herself, independent of my personal thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. Of course I would hope she agrees with me on many issues, but the underlying factor that plays the major role in my ambition here is that she grows into an individual who can think for herself, and that I played whatever part necessary for her to become that way. It saddens me even now to think someday I may leave her alone in this world. Again, life is fleeting, scary and can end at any time. However much it saddens me though, and yes I am well aware it is the one left behind that has to go through the feelings, not the one gone, but even with that said no one wants to leave this world after their child. So again I say, as I will strive to make it so, when I go, I want her to remember me as I am, as I was, as one of her closest friends, as a good father, as a person she could look up to, be proud of and model some of her principles after. (Writing this paragraph alone is a reminder of how I should live my life today and everyday, and how important it is to continue learning and bettering myself as a person, as a father.)
I take this log right here, this post to heart. I will look back on it from time to time, make sure I’m still in line with my goals for what I leave behind, and that I change/adapt accordingly as I grow older and hopefully wiser. More to come here on this page and the rest of my blog The Hustle Never Ends.