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What's your sentence?
The one people will say about you.
I've been reading about Stoicism lately. One of its teachings is the idea of Memento Mori, Latin for "remember that you [have to] die."
Honestly, this idea scares me, always has. No one likes thinking about their death. But, an interesting thing happens when you do; it brings perspective. Perspective about what is essential both in this moment and in this lifetime. Perspective on the right actions for this moment, this week, and this year. And, an awareness that there are no do-overs with life, this is it.
"Let us prepare our minds as if we'd come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life's books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time." Seneca
There is another quote from my reading that stuck out to me.
Someday people will summarize your life in a single sentence. My advice: pick it now!
Maxwell, John C.. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (p. 260). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.
A few months ago, my oldest friend's dad passed away. I feel like I grew up at their house and spent some of the best times of my childhood with their family. I was invited to the small graveside gathering for the family the day after the funeral. It was a cold morning, with just a few gathered to say a final goodbye. Each of us took turns saying a word or two about this man we all loved, and I'll never forget what his son said. He simply said, "he was a good dad." It was a beautiful way to sum up a life well lived.
Someone will summarize my life in a single sentence someday. That's a little terrifying. What do I want that sentence to be? As I look back over everything I've worked toward in my life, working with people experiencing homelessness, working in churches and nonprofits, the companies I've started, and even this blog/newsletter, there is one common thread. I want to add value to people's lives in every way I can.
If I have any control over it, my sentence will be, "Adam added value to people's lives." And my burning hope is that the value I add to others will inspire them to add value to others in a cycle that will carry on into a time when my name is forgotten.
That's my sentence; what's yours?
Great reading from this week
A good plumbing decision with a bad outcome
I really like the idea that just a good decision ends in a bad outcome, but that doesn’t make it a bad decision. Too often, we tie outcomes to the decisions that led to them, but that’s flawed thinking.
How a nonlinear workday might help you get more done
Breaking up the workday in non-traditional ways can lead to some great outcomes.
Save 20 Hours a Week By Removing These 4 Useless Things In Your Life
I’m not sure this list will really save 20 hours a week, but it will save time, and it is worth a look.
Great podcast episodes from this week
Happiness 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose - Hidden Brain
Having a purpose is one of the most important things to cultivate happiness in your life. This episode walks you through it. Or, you can read about purpose from my friend Jeff!
Dear Birth Mother - Transom
This was a beautiful and painful episode about adoption. I loved it, and it brought me to tears too.
Will - by Will Smith
I know Will Smith is still struggling through some public stuff, but his autobiography is pretty amazing. I listened to it on Audible, and Will reads it himself; it was, well, fantastic. It’s entertaining, inspiring, and will keep you engaged from start to finish.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
While Daring Greatly - My podcast.
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