The Doctor, van Gogh, and leaving a legacy

"Am I making a difference?"

That is a question you've asked yourself at least once in your life.

I know I've asked it of myself.

When you're in the trenches, muddling through the routine of daily life, it's easy to lose track of the impact you're making on the world around you. Even when we are paying attention, it can be difficult if not impossible to see the impact we have on other peoples' lives.

Yet every single day, you're leaving your mark on the lives of those you come in contact with and on the world around you.

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Where do your footprints lead?

Leaving a legacy is all about building something that will outlive you, blazing a trail for others to follow. If you stop and think, it's easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. Too often our footprints lead to somewhere "comfortable", where we've achieved just enough, progressed just enough, made just enough money to say we've had a successful life.

Too bad that's not true.

A 'comfortable' life is a mediocre life.

It's the life where Krusty the Klown would say "It's not just good, it's good enough!" 

You're meant for so much more than "good enough".

A 'good enough' life is one full of regrets.

Regret over:

  • Chances not taken
  • Love not experienced
  • Places not visited

It's a life of deathbed regrets where the last bit of advice you pass on is for those behind you to do all the things you were afraid to do.

I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to leave any stone unturned, any dream not chased, any risk not taken because I'd rather be comfortable.

In the clip from Doctor Who, van Gogh is struggling with the same thoughts and fears we all face. 

  • Am I good enough?
  • Does what I'm doing even matter?
  • Will people miss me when I'm gone?

And even though he's in the midst of creating some of the greatest artwork in history, van Gogh is portrayed as a man who doubts his own genius and lets the opinions of others shatter his confidence.

In the end, he gets to see the impact he's made and how he's regarded long after he's gone.

If you got a glimpse 100 years into the future, would people know who you were and the impact you made?

Or would your desire for comfort render you anonymous?