Every day I’m alive is an opportunity. At least that’s what I tell myself when I roll out of bed and stumble like a zombie to the sink for my morning cup of water. Then the real work starts. Meetings, deadlines, and travel, fill up my schedule and I barely have time to ask myself perhaps the most important question: does this work even matter? If you’re Seth Godin, the answer to that question is all about being missed.
Too often we correlate 'success' with wealth. Financial status a simple metric to wrap our minds around, but it can be highly misguiding. Success is a relative term, and its measurement depends largely on your own definition. While money might be the sole metric for some people, it is not what humanity cares about most. Look at history and you’ll see that while some of the most notable figures weren't all wealthy, they were definitely impactful.
“Will you be missed?” is a better question to ask if you want, as Steve Jobs would say, to put a “dent” in the universe. Owning the title of Richest Guy in the Graveyard means nothing. Touching the most lives, on the other hand, is an entirely different way to measure what it means to live a successful life. Someone like Jim Henson, a personal hero of mine, is a perfect example of this. Unlike many modern celebrities, Jim took home peanuts, yet his work touched the lives of millions, and it continues to inspire the imaginations of children around the world to this day.
Missed is a better metric because it requires output. It’s important for us to be creators, not just consumers. When you birth new ideas and things into the world, you become a producer of value in the lives of others. If you’re patient enough to do this consistently, you’re going to be noticed and, inevitably, missed dearly.
Life is short. And although we don't like to think about it, our time will come. Friends and family will mourn our passing, but will the world? I recently heard someone say “If you want to become a billionaire, help a billion people.” Don’t just miss others, get out there and be a maker. Most importantly, make us miss you.