Legacy: Why YOU Should Start Thinking About Dying

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 23, 2013
john wooden

What did you do this week?  It probably wasn’t what you would have done if it was your last week on earth.

What are you doing next week?  Wow.  Probably pretty depressing when you put it that way.

Most people don’t think about death very often.  I certainly don’t.  The title of this article actually gives me the creeps.  Most people say things like “I want to live life the fullest”, but in reality most of our generation needed Drake to say YOLO before they ever considered that you only get one shot at this thing called life.

Most people don’t live a life full of intention.   And what exactly should this hippie-yoga term mean to you?  It should mean being fully aware that going to work everyday is a choice.  It should mean, that even when you hang out with boring people, you still know– you’re getting more boring.  It should mean, that every time you overeat, or overspend, or overwatch something lame on television, you still know– you’re doing this to yourself.

Well, f*ck me if I sit on the couch or in a cubicle if today was my last day on earth.

Seriously.  Think about your funeral.  Not about how many people will be there, but what the people who actually matter would say.  I don’t wish a near death experience upon anyone, but I have some friends who are in need of one.

What did you leave behind?

When’s the last time you thought about your legacy?  What are you going to leave behind?  The other morning I had breakfast with an attendee from our Under30Experiences trip to Nicaragua.  He’s the Wall Street kid who got sucked in by the fat paychecks, and now is having the best years of his life sucked right out of him in exchange.  But, he knows it, and he’s plotting his escape from Corporate America in order to live the life he wants, and to leave a legacy that will carry on long after he’s gone.

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The first step is always admitting it.  It’s being aware.  It’s living with intention.

Create something.  

If you want to leave something behind, you have to think– what is that something?  Yes, it can be a worldwide empire of riches and wealth, but it doesn’t have to be. How about that music career, that the twelve your old you would be crushed to hear you gave up on?  How’s that book going that you’ll never write? Why haven’t you started working on a project that really means something to you?

Build something you can leave behind.  Whether it’s art, music, writing, a company that does something meaningful, a family, or a photo album full of memories, do it… and do it your way.  Don’t just jump on the bandwagon and create the next Snapchat meets music sharing app.  How’s that code going to feel when all is said and done?

Last week, I wrote about what I want out of life— new challenges, reaching beyond my comfort zone, seeing new places, trying new things, inspiring a creative environment, new experiences, and positive energy from ambitious young people. It is exactly why we’re building Under30Experiences: a travel company dedicated to bringing ambitious young professionals on eye-opening experiences.

If we can open up amazing young people to the world that they’ve been missing and give them a launchpad to connect with other people striving for the next level of success in business and life, I’ll leave this planet happy.

Hope this article makes you think.  Would love for you to drop a comment below, and let me know what’s holding your friends back.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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