2 min read

Rethinking Legacy

Rethinking Legacy
Photo by Patrick Schneider / Unsplash

Certain moments in our lives remain etched in our memories, shaping our growth and perspective on the world. One such moment from my childhood stands out: I was in elementary school, around 7 or 8 years old, and we were learning about the great classics like the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid. Studying the mythological heroes of the Trojan War got me thinking about how these individuals, who lived thousands of years ago, were still remembered today.

This thought introduced me to the concept of legacy – though I likely didn't know the term back then. Legacy, in my head, became the pursuit of human immortality through being remembered. To achieve this, one must create something that outlives them, something that remains in people's minds or books forever.

This idea took root in my memories and psyche, influencing my life choices and decisions. My constant drive to build something that will continue to exist even after I'm no longer involved is a manifestation of this thought.

The problem?

I've come to understand that this goal may not be achievable.

The first issue lies in my childhood assumptions. I believed that everyone in the world studied the same material, but this isn't true. For example, children in Asia or North America may not study the great European civilizations.

The second issue is the sheer number of people who have lived throughout history. Estimates suggest that 117 billion people have lived on Earth, and most of them haven already been forgotten. Even recent influential figures like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk will eventually be lost to memory as new achievements overshadow their accomplishments. They will also be forgotten.

The milestones that seem impressive now will become less significant over time. Many people might not even remember Guglielmo Marconi's invention of radio communication or Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin. As progress accelerates, will future generations study these names?

These realizations have prompted me to rethink my approach to legacy and decision-making. While my innate desire to build and succeed remains strong, my reasons for doing so have evolved. Now, I focus on building wealth and enjoying it as I go, rather than pursuing unrealistic outcomes. My perspective on business opportunities and the products I create has also shifted.

My legacy may not be what I initially envisioned, but I'm eager to see where this new mindset takes me.

I hope this article stimulates your thoughts as well.

Why are you doing what you're doing?

What are your reasons?

What will your legacy be?