It's a philosophical question that has always fascinated me but has never been answered fully. Yet, it has always lingered in the back of my mind.
There is a personal and a professional angle to this. An obvious part of me that wants to be a good son, a good friend, a good brother. It's something that everyone tries to be, fails regularly and tries again. But professionally, I have always wondered whether the things that I pursued or did would be something noteworthy enough to be remember.
This simple yet powerful thought has driven me at places as diverse as a multinational finance firm as well as a rural social enterprise. It has helped me articulate my thoughts and work on building and designing products with a lasting impact as well as changing customers habits .
Its also a question that I regularly ask people who I interview and its something you need to ask yourself as well because at the end of the day, the existential question around your personal big picture motivation is critical to what you should be doing. For some, it can be small tasks at work that make a difference, for some it can be a broader or a life goal that is both achievable and realistic.
This is certainly not a question I expect a definitive answer from everyone. In fact most will honestly not know what they want to be remembered for. But, it's something you should care and think about. The question you should be asking yourself is not what your long term or short term goals are, it's what do you want to be remembered for.