July 1, 2021
Most mornings I read one page from a book titled “The Daily Drucker,” written by Peter Drucker, who was recognized as the Father of Modern Management. For each day of the year there is a thought provoking one-page article.
The tag line on the cover of the book says “366 DAYS of INSIGHT and MOTIVATION for GETTING the RIGHT THINGS DONE.” Recently the topic for the day was “What do you want to be remembered for?” Here’s what this wise man said in his book:
“I’m always asking that question: What do you want to be remembered for? It is a question that induces you to renew yourself, because it pushes you to see your yourself as a different person – the person you can become. If you are fortunate, someone with moral authority will ask you that question early enough in your life so that you will continue to ask it as you go through life. It is a question that induces you to renew yourself, because it pushes you to see yourself as a different person – the person you can become.”
It has been my experience that this sort of question is one of those questions that most people don’t think about until they get older. Fortunately, I thought about how I wanted to be remembered about thirty years ago as I took care of some details as part of my pre-need funeral planning effort. I had to decide how I wanted my tombstone to look and what I wanted carved in it. I thought about lots of funny or crazy things that would match my personality, like “I told you I was sick” and some other things I elect to not share. Making that tombstone decision caused me to think long and hard about what I wanted “etched in stone” and how I wanted to be remembered. Once it is cast in stone, it’s a source of potential criticism and forces you to truly live what you profess. I have “put myself out there” my entire life so I went ahead and took the plunge. The words that I had etched in stone, like the King Aerospace written Cornerstone Principles and Mission Statement, serve as a constant reminder for me to live as humanly possible according to what I profess. I have no regrets about my decision.
Kind of like Drucker, it is not unusual for me to ask people what is on their bucket list or what they want to do before they die. Often, I get the “deer in the headlights” look and hear words to the effect of “I’ve never really thought about it.” Sometimes I’ll be a little more direct and ask, “If you had only one year to live, how would you live your life?” Asking this question usually results in a response with some uncontrolled shocking facial expression and serious thinking.
A good friend of mine, a real authentic Texas cowboy close to 80 years old who does not like funerals or even talking about them, recently told me “You just never know when the good Lord is going to give you a change of address.” Maybe there’s some merit in the wisdom of Peter Drucker’s question that we should indeed think about before we get our change of address. We can’t go back and change the past, but we sure can do something about our future and how we want to be remembered! Most often, it’s about how we finish that is most remembered.
May this provide you with some food for thought as we celebrate our 4th heritage. God Bless our Country!
Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.