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Who Will Cry When You Die?
Published by HarperCollins
Who Will Cry When You Die? looks at life from a unique perspective. So many of us get caught up in what’s happened, what’s happening, or what might happen in the immediate future. Who Will Cry When You Die? is a gentle reminder to look forward, to the end of your life, and imagine what you will want the “whole package” of your life to look like. It encourages us to ask not only “What did I accomplish?”, but also “What impact did I make?”, and “What am I leaving behind?”
What’s the Point?
“One of the greatest lessons for living a highly fulfilling life is to rise from a life spent chasing success to one dedicated to finding significance.”
Who Will Cry When You Die?, page 221
There are a lot of miserable people with a lot of money. There are also people with practically nothing who live every day contentedly. These are facts. Yet they don’t have to be your facts. Who Will Cry When You Die? (and really, all of Robin Sharma’s books) are about living a life of abundance; an abundance of financial accomplishment, but also an abundance of life experiences, and legacy achievements. Life is meant to be lived BIG – everything you do should be done with excellence and a sense of purpose. Life’s too short to be spent focused on the ultimately unimportant and mundane.
“Focus on the Worthy”
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
Peter Drucker as quoted in
Who Will Cry When You Die?, page 65
How are you spending your time? Where do your days go? In the last twenty-four, how many hours would you confidently say were spent on something of lasting importance – something that you did to the best of your abilities and that will have an impact that lives beyond your time on earth?
You can’t do everything, and those why try to end up doing everything at a mediocre level, if that. Commit yourself to a higher purpose, and be deliberate in the activities that draw on your most precious commodity of all; your time.
“The person that tries to do everything ultimately achieves nothing.”
Who Will Cry When You Die?, page 64
The Personal Legacy Statement
“While many of the corporate executives I work with have personal mission statements, few have considered scripting individual legacy statements. While the former defines your vision of what you want to create while you live, the latter expresses what you aim to leave when you die.”
Who Will Cry When You Die?, page 138
Do you know what you want your life to stand for? One of the biggest challenges people have when thinking of their life purpose is immediate frustration and distraction if they don’t feel their contribution can make a global difference. If you’re in this category, you need to make a mental shift, pronto. The people who have made the biggest difference in this world are the ones who focused on serving other human beings – either one at a time, or en masse if you have the resources, but serving nonetheless. Who are you serving? How are you making another person’s life better today? I would encourage you to spend 20 minutes today thinking of the legacy you want to leave. Write it down. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get you thinking (and then acting) in the right direction. Commit today to start crafting your legacy.
“Too many of us die at twenty and are buried at eighty.”
Who Will Cry When You Die?, page 198
At the end of the day, a life well lived is a life lived with passion. Passion comes from purpose, and purpose comes from knowing what’s important to you, and then taking steps to realize those values on a daily basis. Brin and Page (the guys from Google), Richard Branson (Virgin) and Steve Jobs (Apple & Pixar) are uncontested business geniuses. But all you have to do is read the first 20 pages of their biographies to understand that what got them in the game, kept them there and led to wild success, was a passion to make a difference in people’s lives, using a vehicle that they, themselves, were driven to explore.
Find your legacy vehicle and commit to it – everyday – so that your life may end accomplished, fulfilled and immortal.