“Do not care overly much for wealth or power or fame, or one day you will meet someone who cares for none of these things and you will realize how poor you have become.” ~ Rudyard Kipling
A friend shared the following with me a few months ago. It came without an author or attribution, however, someone clearly deserves credit for its composition.
“Ready or not some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected whether treasures or baubles will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and loses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.
It won’t matter if you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many people will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.”
There is a reason I chose identical subtitles for this blog and my radio show. It is my belief that we can be who we are and fulfill our incredibly unique purpose, if we so choose.
How can you really matter to others? There are countless ways. Here are three for your consideration:
- Tell the people in your life how you feel about them. If this doesn’t come natural to you, all the more reason to do it more often. It will become natural. “You matter” is what many want to hear. These work well too: “I’m happy to see you.” “You mean so much to me.” “Your contribution to the team is immeasurable.” “I so appreciate you.” The language of mattering is universal. Tell people and tell them often how much they matter.
- Sometimes following your calling means leaving the ones you love behind. This is a tough one. Sometimes it’s not our role in this life to be the best sibling, spouse or friend because we’re here to contribute in a different and unique way. Honor what’s true for you rather than falling in line with how society tells you to prioritize. You can only be and do you.
- Talk about others. Few like the person in the family, at work, or at the party who only talks about themselves, their interests, their accomplishments and their importance, right? You become far more interesting and important when you talk about the exciting things other people are doing, trying, creating, writing, and sharing. Doing so gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as someone who is learning and growing from others.