Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Last week a leader, who worked for more than two decades with the organisation I worked with, passed away. All too sudden. Too soon for his age. That day and a few more days to that day were possibly one of the saddest days for many of the common connections. Social networking sites were filled with heartfelt tributes.
From what people wrote about him, he seemed to be a man who lived his life well. Some spoke about how he was a fantastic mentor to juniors in the team while some said how he included and created an environment of trust and respect for new comers. Some spoke about his contagious laughter and liveliness while the others spoke about how he was a people champion in a technology business. A leader who led from the front, had his poise while dealing with difficult scenarios, let teams take credit for success while he took the onus for the failures. A man well loved by the people he worked with.
I never got a chance to work with him directly. Not even conversed with him barring a couple of hellos may be. But I could imagine how he would be from what I read from the hundreds of comments and tributes. Wonderful memoirs, heartfelt obituaries.
One thing that struck me the most was a beautiful tribute from one of the leaders who worked with him who said “At the end, ambition, achievement and all the trappings of a corporate life fall away. Only the way, you have conducted yourself and the kindness that you have shown survive.” I’m quoting him as I don’t think I would have been able to summarise it so beautifully.
Read the lives of people who have lived their life well (from how much people remember them and for what, when they are not around) and you’ll see a pattern emerging. Common themes that stand out.
Love. Kindness. What they did for people and society. Compassion. Family and friends. Positive. Laughter and lively.
Not money. Not titles. Not positions. Not accomplishments.
When we read of the lives others have lived, we’re offered clues on what’s most important in life. It gives us a chance to repurpose our life. To write a “draft version” of our own memoir. His passing away gave me a chance to ask myself “What would I want to be remembered for/as?”
I have identified a set of questions I’m asking myself which would also be a reference point to how I’m going to measure my life from this moment:
Did I dream big?
Did I make people laugh?
Did I love well?
Did I give more than I take?
Did I let go?
Did I help people become better?
Did I leave this place better than it was?
I urge you to take a shot at writing your own Memoir. What you’d want to be remembered for/as. And measure your life basis those questions so that your draft version is the final version used by the people who remember you.
Om shanti to the fantastic soul. Strength and prayers with his family.