Being Grounded In Your Succession
Last December I flew to San Deigo to renew my qualifications as a Certified Exit Planning Advisor or CEPA. As part of the preparation for the course, I had a couple of specialist books to read, one of which quoted the poem by Michael Josephson called ‘What Will Matter’. The author of the book in which it was quoted made mention that he shared this poem with all of his clients and at speaking engagements to allow participants to absorb the succession planning process with an open heart.
Now I wouldn’t suggest that it is an overly gleeful read, but its profoundness certainly hit to the core with me, hence why I wanted to share it with you.
“What Will Matter”
By Michael Josephson
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevant.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plan, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.