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What Will You Be Doing On Your Last Day?

January 21st, 2008 by Wai Loong (Add Your Comment)

It’s about 2 more weeks towards Chinese/Lunar New Year! In case you’re not familiar with the Asian Chinese culture though, it’s supposed to be on a positive outlook for an auspicious and well harvested new year. Well, at least we all got to take a break from the uncertainties of the declining US economy right?

Now, don’t get me wrong here though. I’m not being pessimistic, but a little feeling down on the short term as I always ponder how I would look like when I peak into a crystal ball.

I was just watching this hilarious video created by Bill Gates for his last (and ever) keynote speech on 6th January at CES 2008, Las Vegas. This video hit me hard, and again, on how it would be like for me. But before I share some of my thoughts, here’s a few shots and the video (you will need Flash plugin for your web browser to view the YouTube video clip).

Keynote – Bill Gates’ Last Day – January 6, 2008

Did you enjoyed yourself with that video?

You bet I did!

It was a great production, and I really appreciate his focus and passion put into his work and to humanity at large. Don’t you think we all should model after that spirit of enthusiasm? Can you ever envision that last day of a phenomenal career that could have moved and shake the world of business?

Now, what most people may not ponder upon after the video is, what if I were in the video?

How would I want my last day to be like?

This question is undoubtedly modeled from the famous book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey – or so I’ve heard. 😉

I remembered a similar experience I had in one of the final coaching classes I was doing a few years ago. It was really an amazing experience, for we had to envision how we want to be remembered as we lay in the box (er… touch wood but you should get what I mean!).

Let’s assume a more auspicious picture – by visualizing how you look like at your last day of your career.

Several possibilities immediately spring onto my mind as I furiously write this:

  • What legacy will you leave behind?
  • How will your colleagues and boss manage without you?
  • Does your colleagues show a feeling of admiration or encouragement?
  • Will they feel a sense of sadness or emptiness?
  • Will your colleagues cheer after your departure?
  • Or *gasp* a feeling of indifference?

What exactly do you think you want to be remembered for?

It’s not really such a difficult question as compared to death right?

Take a moment to seriously reflect and ponder upon this unusual question. You’ll probably not find another better chance to do this exercise for the rest of your life… and also much less chance to see such a weird blog discussing such a strange topic! 😉

I know what you’re thinking… “Why do I ever care about how others remember of me?.

I don’t blame you.

In fact, I won’t be surprised at the way how most people will react to this question. Most people won’t be bothered much how others think of them when they leave their official positions. After all, most folks will not envision or even plan how they want to be remembered as. Just as it’ll probably never cross one’s mind how one wants to be remembered as on their death bed.

Fortunately, it’s a U-turn for you now to ponder on this mysterious aspects of life.

A career is not all about money. It’s not all about struggling, climbing the cooperate ladder and tramping on others for income or for survival. It’s about creating value to pass on to the bigger environment around us. It’s how you want your efforts to benefit others somehow.

Wealth accumulation is indeed the main driving force of the economy as we all need enough to provide for the comfort for our families. However, we never pause to consider how much time we actually need to put into our career to earn that bread money to feed our family.

I don’t care if you’re a janitor or a CEO. The fact that most of us are herd creatures. We depend on each other somehow for survival and support. Only rarely can one fine a cultivated human being that can withstand solitary for very long period of time.

Consider putting in an average of 40 hrs of your life working alongside with your partners/colleagues. That’s whopping (an approximation) of 23.8% of your lifetime involved in working with these people you call partners or even colleagues! And that’s assuming you don’t get to retire at the age of your choice… and that’s pretty much if you haven’t plan a retirement… or worse since many haven’t got any choice these days as they live from monthly pay checks to pay checks.

What I’m trying to point out is not the survival aspects of income generation, but far from a deeper appreciation of who you may be associating with, for each and every living day of your life.

So what do you want to accomplish in the lifetime of your career?

Who do you want to be remembered now?

Let’s not dwell too much about what has happened in the past, in case you didn’t really enjoy much of the past, or that you’ve had a lot of enemies. Let just keep to the present moment and rethink how you can change or improve your current situation.

So the next time you put energy into whatever profession you are doing, always bear in mind that you’re actually planting the very seeds that will sprout on your very last day (or maybe even years following that) of duty.

Good reflections and live a life with passion!

Posted in Life, Random Thoughts

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About Insights, Inspirations, Tranquility, Peace and Harmony

Ng Wai Loong

Wai Loong is an electronics engineer by profession. He currently resides in Singapore, a thriving hub at the heart of South-East Asia. When he is not so stress out on the computers or laboratory, he enjoys value reading, jogging at his own pace and blogging in his spare time. Other times, he likes to catch up with some close friends over a cup of latte or teh tarik. As a gift from this friend, you are invited to interact freely with him on his personal blog.

PS: May the person reading this blog transforms his/her businesses, finances, relationships and life for ALL to WIN!