Someone’s Going to Sum You Up One Day

I originally wrote this on October 2, 2009 on my Facebook account.  I just found it through Facebook’s new Timeline feature and thought I’d republish it here.

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Great opinion piece from Peggy Noonan in the Journal today. It’s about the need for the next generation of Cronkites and Murrows in the media, but worth a read for the very end:

“And they’ll have obits someday too. Their careers will be captured in eulogies, leaving their children proud, or not. In a way you’re writing your own obit every day. You’re making the lead paragraph positive and constructive, or not.

Someone’s going to sum you up one day. You want to live your professional life in a way that they can write good things.”

Someone’s going to sum you up one day, indeed. The summation won’t be about the quality of that PowerPoint presentation you’re working on today, nor how cleverly you slipped in that indemnification clause in a consulting agreement. They won’t publish the rate of return you secured on your investments, nor the brand of clothing hanging in your closet.

What did you build? Who did you teach? Who did you help? How many others will be able to stand on your shoulders to achieve even greater things?

Try summing up your life now. Like what you see? If not, start changing it today to create the source material for that summation. There’s no guarantee that you can start working on it tomorrow.

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