January 31

Some well-meaning advice givers will tout the phrase “live each day like it’s your last!” On the surface, it seems like good advice, right? After all, it emphasizes the importance of cherishing each day, taking risks, and doing things that push you out of your comfort zone. However, I take issue with this advice. If it’s my last day on earth, I’m going to eat whatever I want, focus on now regardless of what it means in the future, and generally ignore that little voice in the back of my head that’s only job is to keep me viable and healthy.

Instead of living each day like it’s your last, I encourage you to live each day like it’s your legacy. InDie Empty, I proposed a thought experiment: Imagine that a journalist is following you around all day, documenting everything you do. All your activities, conversations, decisions, and relational interactions will be documented for posterity, and how you choose to live that day will define your legacy forever. How would that change the way you approach your life today? What would it say about what’s truly important to you?

I think this is a far more valuable way to approach life and work than the “last day” fallacy.

Don’t live each day like it’s your last. Live each day like it’s your legacy.

How would you approach your day today if it were to define your legacy?

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