Yes, we know, you have lots to do, too many places to be, and no time to get everything done you planned to do today anyway. Yet, here we are, giving you something else to read. But there’s a method to our madness. A reason we are here. It turns out we’re busy, too. We might even bump into you in some of those busy places you have to go, in a world where everyone seems to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. So, why are we bothering you now?

Sometimes we’re so busy keeping our nose to the grindstone that we don’t look up to see where we are actually going. Tweet This Quote

I’ll tell you why. Because as fast as we run all day, sometimes we aren’t really going anywhere. We’re so busy keeping our nose to the grindstone that we don’t look up to see where it is we are actually going. I want to ask you this question. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? In the later stages of your life, when it’s too late for regrets?

I’ve thought about that, and I found my answer. I’ve worked as hard as the next guy, slaving away to earn “success,” whatever that really means. One day I found myself wondering what people would say at my funeral. When it’s all said and done, and I’ve used up all my free minutes on this planet, how would people summarize my life?

Then I asked myself an even more important question. What do I want them to say? I took some time to think about what matters most to me, what I really hope to accomplish with my life. What, to me, success really means—and I found the answer.

The true measure of success in life is how many other lives you made better. Tweet This Quote

I think the true measure of success is not how many companies you’ve started. Not how many “exits” you’ve had. Not how much money you made or how many houses you own. No, the true measure of success in life is how many other lives you made better. What did you do with your life that made someone else’s life better? How many people did you touch in a meaningful way? How many people did you inspire, lift, carry, or teach? When it’s time for my funeral, I’ll know I was a success if people say, “Wow, Jeff really made a positive impact on me.”

So why are we here, gathered in the Unreasonable community, asking you to spend your precious time on this site, reading this article? Because this is our chance to make things better. To join hands and help lift people out of poverty. To reach behind us and pull people forward. To educate, to inspire, to assist, and to propel. The greatest gift we can give a person in need is not to simply help them for a day, but to teach them how to help themselves—for a lifetime. Knowing that once they are on stable ground, they will reach behind and pull someone else forward.

As a community, let’s discuss how we can amplify our ability to inspire more entrepreneurs and unleash more ideas. Tweet This Quote

I hope to use this time and space to come together as a community and discuss ways we can amplify our ability to teach more people, to inspire more entrepreneurs, to unleash more ideas. Let’s have an ongoing discussion about the multiplier effect, the way in which we can scale our efforts to help anyone who dreams of being in charge of their own life, of being the designer of their own future. Then one day, when we all look back, we’ll find a line of people stretching from Africa to Asia to South America—a line of people whose lives we made better.

Yes, I know you are busy. So am I. But I’ll see you here next time. Armed with ideas, buzzing with energy, and finding ways to help.


A version of this post originally published on UNREASONABLE.is in September 2013. It has been updated and reposted to inspire further conversation.

Jeff Hoffman

Author Jeff Hoffman

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and global mentor. He is co-founder and partner of ColorJar and previously founded and led companies such as Priceline.com, uBid.com, CTI, and others. Recently Jeff was inducted into the Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame by the CEO Council.

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