What if every year between now and your death you created something truly remarkable?
Something—a book, company, a non-profit organization, a better way of doing business, blog, a conference—that was a gift to the world, but also a gift to yourself. Something that you would look back on fondly regardless of whether or not it was a commercial success.
The results would not be only life altering, they would be life confirming. Start at age 40 and die at age 75.2 and you’ll have chalked up 35 amazing projects. Not bad. Most people haven’t accomplished that (or at least they can’t remember them). One remarkable project a year is do-able. You can break it down into small pieces and attack day-by-day or just dedicate a week a year to creating it.
The probability that one or more of those projects will have a positive impact on the life of at least one person is huge. Heck, with 35 projects, the chances that one or more of them impact 10 or 10,000 or 1,000,000 are pretty damn good. And the likelihood that of one of those 35 projects (or your overall effort) will inspire one of your future ancestors is nearly guaranteed.
And what if they don’t? Say (however incredibly unlikely) that all of your efforts are completely ignored.
It won’t matter. You will still have given something incredibly significant to the world: your best.