A few years after my mother died, I took my father to Las Vegas.
I’d been booked for a keynote performance there and thought my father would get a kick out of the whole scene. He’d never been, and given that it was Mother’s Day week, I figured the trip would be a good distraction.
As we walked the halls of The Venetian and The Palazzo hotels, he was completely amused by what he called the “elegant kitsch” of the hotel decor. Given his love of Italian art, he stopped at each replica of the famous Renaissance sculptures and paintings, standing as close to them as possible, squinting and studying the work.
Over dinner one evening, he commented on the master painters such as Michelangelo, Titian, and Tintoretto—their tremendous talent and extensive body of work.
And so I asked him how he evaluated his own life, how he put things in perspective. I was secretly looking for any wisdom he could indirectly offer me.
He thought for a moment, staring off into the past, and then with a smile said something I will
“The events may have been small, but the satisfaction was great.”
The joy in his smile was profound.
Most of us will never create a legacy as large as that of Michelangelo—work that lasts in its physical form and is appreciated for centuries.
We may influence a few lives while we’re alive, but who knows what these few souls will then carry on and whose lives they in turn will touch—a few hundred, a few thousand, tens of thousands and in some cases, millions.
This is beyond our knowledge and beyond our measure.
So Risk Forward.
Give it a shot.
What you do and create will matter more than you can ever know.