I just received an email from someone who started getting my newsletter about a decade ago, and still reads it every week. In the email, she mentioned her favorite posts, one of which I had completely forgotten about.
I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude to her for reaching out, and for allowing me to be a part of her life for so long. It had me reflecting on what we create, and how over the years, it helps us learn more about who we are, and how we shape the lives of others.
I want to share three things today. The first is a reposting of one of the emails she referenced — the one I had forgotten writing. Then I want to share a story she shared that blew me away, and then end on something very special to me.
“We Take The Songs Of Old, And We Sing Them Into The Future.”
What is the song you will leave behind?
A song that others will sing long after you are gone?
I don’t mean this from just your entire life, but even a single interaction you have with another. What do you leave behind that inspires them, grows in them, affects them in a positive way, and helps shape their actions?
Perhaps it is a story, or an attitude, an experience, or knowledge. Something about you that lives on in others, that they embrace, come to embody, and in doing so, a small part of you lives on far into the future. Not as merely a memory, but an action. That the actions and attitudes of others are shaped by you, long after your time here and now is gone.
This has been a theme that I have been obsessed with this year.
I work with writers and creative professionals, focusing on how they can craft their work, engage an audience, and have their ideas shape the lives of others.
This is something that is sometimes hard for a writer, an artist, a musician to fully understand or embrace. Their work will essentially be remixed, and evolve without them. You can write a song from your heart, but you can’t control what others hear in it; what it means to them. Same with a book and most forms of creative work. You write it from the context of your life, but it is read in the context of someone else’s life.