What Do You Want to Be Known for When You Die?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Death is inevitable.

Since death is an incredibly uncomfortable topic for most people, they try to shut out the thought as much as possible. Yet death constantly creeps into our minds, even if subtly — the real or imagined threat of harm or death determines many of our actions.

Additionally, most people don’t develop a solid perspective of their own lives. Most are poor long-term planners and bring death closer because they do not have the self-discipline to take care of their bodies. They would rather ignore the subject of their own mortality because it’s simply too uncomfortable and requires too much thought and planning.

But as men, we must be aware of our mortality and what it means for us. We must also live worthwhile lives, define our goals, and achieve them. We must know what we’re living for, both for the time we have on earth today and for the day we inevitably die.

You Never Know How or When You’ll Die

Although death is inevitable, none of us know how or when we are going to die. We can influence it to some extent, but we cannot control it.

Imagine how you would be affected if you knew the exact date of your death.

You can imagine it this way:

If you somehow knew you’d die two years from today, how would you change the way you live?

Would you be more focused on living life as much as possible, or would you be more focused on leaving a lasting legacy? Or both?

Now, what if you knew that you’re going to die tomorrow? Don’t worry about how you would know — just think of the concept as-is.

Would you say you lived your life to its fullest? Would you be happy with everything you’ve accomplished? Would you feel like you’ve left something on the table?

Would you be afraid of death?

If you’re afraid of leaving too much on the table, what could you do starting today so if you died exactly two years from today, you’d feel like you had accomplished much more with your life?

Would you have left behind meaningful relationships? Would you leave behind trusted people that can continue your work when you die? Would you leave behind people who truly care about you and will tell stories about you to make your legacy last well beyond your death?

I’m not saying to constantly act as if you’re going to die tomorrow, but rather to put this all in perspective for you. Your legacy is determined by your actions both today and down the road. If there are things you’re doing that are wasting your time, now is the time to change them.

Your Legacy

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” — Bruce Lee

If we really touch the world while we live, then our legacies will live on well beyond our deaths. Past innovators, experts, and other historical figures are all written about because of the contributions they made to the world.

From Genghis Khan to Christopher Colombus to Benjamin Franklin to Mahatma Gandhi to John F. Kennedy, these names have lived on for what they accomplished. If you have any background knowledge of these historical figures, then you know them for what they accomplished, and you probably don’t know most of their inactions and failures.

Nobody talks about the chances these men didn’t take, and they don’t usually mention the times they “failed” to accomplish a goal. What most of these people are famous for is what they did to change the world around them.

There’s a very powerful lesson in here if you haven’t heard it already: before you die, you’ll regret what you didn’t do instead of what you decided to take a chance on.

Many historical names fought against the times. They stood out, they dominated the world in at least one aspect, and they made their names known and voices heard.

Knowing this, ask yourself: when you die, what do you want to be known for?

Do you want to be known as a corporate bee who did his job like a good little servant, went home to his wife and kids, got cheated on unbeknownst to him, worked well below his potential his entire life, and was only known by his family and his closest friends?

Or perhaps as the guy who went home after work and watched football all day? The guy who watched other men achieve their goals, but never his own? Working the 9-5 cookie cutter lifestyle when you know as a man that you’re psychologically and physically designed for true achievement and action?

Or do you want to be known for something much, much bigger?

Perhaps a man who was a powerful counter-culture to the times? Or a man who touched the world in a time of peril? Or even just someone who invented something to make people’s lives just a little bit better?

You know that you can blend in and fade out, as modern society intends, or you can fight it and make a mark upon the world.

So what’s your answer? Do you want to fizzle out into nothingness, only to be thought of by your offspring or seen somewhere on your family tree? Or do you want to leave a lasting mark upon the world?

Focus on Achievement Now

I don’t have everything in my life planned out. I don’t know everything I’ll do before I die. I haven’t fully defined the exact purpose of my own life, but I’ve certainly made some impactful life goals and achieved many of them already.

But regardless of my own understanding of my future, I know that I want to leave a lasting legacy when I die.

Perhaps the most basic but important way is by giving as many open-minded men (and women in some circumstances) as much useful, rational advice to counter the bullshit that we face — even if presenting that reality is uncomfortable to them. My overall aspirations are much higher, but this is one of my most basic goals.

That’s a relatively easy but impactful goal of mine.

But now, think about your own legacy. You may or may not have defined everything yet, and that’s fine.

If you come to Western Mastery and other Red Pill sites, you know that our cause is just. You must spread the world. You have the moral obligation to pay the knowledge forward to expand our knowledge and community.

Start by finding people who are open to learning Red Pill information. Give it to them in ways that their ego can handle. Point out obvious Red Pill truths and direct them to sites such as this one. Don’t apologize for being a man.

You can start with this; let this be at least a part of your own legacy.

And if you haven’t already, sit down and figure out what you want to do with your own life. A good way to do this is to write your own journal a few minutes a day on average and ask yourself some tough questions about your life.

Get your health and fitness in check. Set meaningful goals about fitness, relationships, essential life achievements, and the work you want to leave upon the world.

Set these goals in periods of one month, six months, one year, then maybe even five year and ten year goals, then destroy them.

Achievement is what makes a man. Today’s weak-willed, low testosterone men have become emasculated and void of meaningful achievements. This is why so many of them wander around without a purpose.

Don’t be one of those “men.”

The choice of what to do with your life is yours alone. Educate yourself, then act on the knowledge. Learn from your past mistakes to become a much better man. Then become the man you were made to be.

No matter how and when you go out, this is how you minimize any regrets when you die.

El Final

I hope this short article put some things in perspective for you.

Obviously, this is a very morbid topic, but this is something that all men must think about. Understanding that we have limited time on this earth gives us clarity in deciding what we want to do with the time we have left.

Too many of us are caught up in the “now” and haven’t put serious thought into our own mortality, or the legacy we want to leave the world. It’s essential not to think just about immediate goals, one-year goals, etc, but also life goals and what we want the world to say about us when we die.

I also have to say that writing this article touched me deeply. I lost my father this year, so the subject of mortality has been on my mind a lot. Thankfully his death has put my own life into perspective, and hopefully, my thoughts can help you as well.

Anyway, follow me on Twitter at @WesternMastery if you haven’t already.

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3 thoughts on “What Do You Want to Be Known for When You Die?

  1. Pingback: Weekly Roundup #91 - Charles Sledge

  2. Johnny Grube

    I already know, I will be known as a hard SOB, disciplined, who took care of his family, and who took care of business. If course more, but you get the point.

    Great article!


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