Living A Life That Matters

coffee cup with inspirational saying.

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 irrelevance.

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, plans 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 about what you learned as well as 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 felt good when they were around you and how you served them.

  • 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.

Michael Josephson --- Submitted by Seb Abbasi --- England
Michael Josephson is the founder and president of the Josephson Institute, which he named for his parents after retiring from successful careers in business, law and education. He serves without salary and donates all fees and honoraria from his programs to the Institute, which is overseen by an independent, volunteer board of governors. Visit his website at:

Stories / Articles 2007