How do you want others to remember you?
A lifetime of memories
Here’s the conclusion of the matter. It’s your life and you best get to living it. Someday, sooner than you think, it will be over. Don’t let your dying days be ones of regret over what might have been. (Bruce Gerencser)
Yesterday evening, my aunt passed away. She’s 89. Her husband passed away decades ago and I recall them being a close and loving couple. Her children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends love her.
She enjoys visits from family and friends. Sundays at her place is usually merry with food and laughters. Her children made sure there are lots of food and people whenever there was something to celebrate. And we always look forward to coming there. She enjoyed every one of it.
Years ago when she was still physically able, she went on holidays with her children and their spouses almost every year. That was quite an entourage but they rallied to make the trips happen.
I will always remember her fondly.
How do I want others to remember me?
To me, professional and personal life have different wants. At work, I want others to remember me as someone who is competent, visionary, and kind. To this end, I worked very hard to keep up with my profession and to treat my colleagues right.
In my personal life, I want my family to remember me as a loving person and someone with authentic faith and good character.
I do not always deliver, but I try my best.
How about you?
Do you ever think how you want others to remember you? What kind of memory do you want others to have about you? Is your daily behaviours consistent with it?
At work, we often get caught up in the importance of "successful career" that we prioritise it over and above a lot of things. We think the sacrifice is needed to get us somewhere. Wherever "somewhere" is.
But work is also an opportunity to make memories. Good memories.
Even if the job itself is less than ideal, we can still make good memories of it. Because we make memories through our relationship with the people around us. If we sacrifice other people for the sake of our self-interest, that will create bad memories.
And sometimes, we need to change our approach to career so that in our personal life, we can make more memories that we want to have.
We only have one shot at the life we are currently living with the people we meet along our life's journey. There is no rewind and edit. The memory we make for ourselves, the memory we impress on others, and vice versa: they build one upon another.
We cannot undo the memory we have made. But we can make changes so the memory we make from now on can be closer and closer to how we want others to remember us.
The changes we make to that end can change our career and financial savings and thus our retirement. But when we pass away, we cannot take our wealth with us.
In "Top Five Regrets of the Dying", Bronnie Ware wrote about the regrets of the dying people she cared for.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish I had let myself be happier.
From now on, let us make changes in our lives, so at the end of our time, we can say, "I am glad I ...".
Have a great day.
Disclaimer: Anything I share is not intended as financial advice; I am merely sharing personal opinions and experiences. The information is of general nature and you should only use it as a place to start your own research and you certainly should do your own due diligence. You ought to seek professional financial advice before making any decisions.