The Man Who Accidentally Read His Own Obituary
There once was a man who read his own obituary and it changed his life forever.
Alfred B. Nobel (1833-1896) was a man who made his fortune by producing explosives.
One of the most well-known things that he invented was dynamite.
He had gained not only wealth from explosives, but he also became famous for this.
One day his brother died.
A newspaper made the mistake of thinking it was Alfred whom had died.
Alfred opened the paper that day and saw his own obituary in the paper.
And what he saw shocked and appalled him.
The newspaper described him as the man who had made it possible to kill more people, more quickly than anyone else who had ever lived.
He was devastated when he read those words describing his life.
And he was determined to re-write his legacy to humanity.
It is for that reason that he established the Nobel Prizes to recognize individuals who have made advances in cultural and/or scientific advances. (the Nobel Peace Prize being the most famous).
That’s why today the name “Nobel” is associated with peace instead of death.
What Success Really Is
Most of us will never get the chance to read our own obituaries like Nobel did.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t evaluate our lives and decide whether we’re succeeding or not.
What is success?
Success means a lot of things to different people.
One of the things success ultimately means is to use whatever time you have in this life in the most effective, meaningful, memorable, and lasting ways.
That means that success in life ultimately is a time management issue.
How you use or abuse the time you have will determine your level of success in life.
The Inexplicable Raw Material of Everything
The problem is that most of us don’t see the connection between our success and how we manage our time.
That’s why I want to end this post with these powerful words about time from Arnold Bennett’s classic book “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day“…
“Time is the inexplicable raw material of everything.
With it, all is possible; without it, nothing.
The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it.
“You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions… No one can take it from you.
“It is not something that can be stolen.
And no one receives either more or less than you receive.
“Moreover, you cannot draw on its future.
Impossible to get into debt!
“You can only waste the passing moment.
You cannot waste tomorrow; it is kept for you.
“You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you.
You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time.
“Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality.
“All depends on that.
Your happiness — the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends — depends on that.
“If one cannot arrange that an income of twenty-four hours a day shall exactly cover all proper items of expenditure, one does muddle one’s whole life indefinitely.
“We shall never have any more time.
We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.“
“The 3 Keys to Increased Focus, Efficiency, and Creativity”
This Friday, I will be releasing an information product called “The 3 Keys to Increased Focus, Efficiency, and Creativity“.
The three keys are three things I stumbled upon while looking at two things:
1. Observing some important habits in lives of some of the “greats” from history
2. Noticing how ancient people viewed and handled time.
Learn more about the “3 Keys” here…
NOTE: These “three keys” are not a new time management system.
In fact, they’re what I am calling an “Attention Management” system.
(I’ll explain more about this concept on Friday.)
There seems to be a growing sense that many of us have that there is too much to DO and too much to FOCUS on, but not enough time to deal with it all.
We feel like no matter what we do, we are sinking more than swimming.
These feelings seem to be the result of what I call “The Dangers of a Modern Life“.