To: The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
The lives of great leaders are filled with continuous learning. Even the simplicity of a birthday provides one of these wonderful opportunities. I recently had a birthday, and a friend shared with me a wonderful gift, a poem. Its message was simple and elegant: carpe diem – live and love life to its fullest. It is one of those beautiful reminders that all great leaders need from time to time – a moment of reflection on the brevity of their journey and what matters in their life.
What will Matter
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 treasured or forgotten, 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 losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether 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, courage 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 will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live 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.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Voltaire, 17th century French author and philosopher, wrote: God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” May you fill your life with love, beauty, happiness and wisdom each moment of your life… and then with passion and excitement find room for more. Life is so very good. Choose, always, to live a life that matters.
And about my birthday… It was the best I ever had because of the beautiful and special people who fill my life. Joy is in also knowing… that for all of us, the best is yet to come. Each day give yourself the beautiful gift of living well.
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!
- Seton Hall University in the News
- Three Minute Leadership: The Joy of You