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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Would you rather be remembered, or forgotten?

I'm certainly living my life the way I'd like to be remembered, and having a ton of fun while I do it.

"You could write that on your gravestone." somebody said to me tonight, in response to some brag  I made about something I've done.  In that one, vaguely morbid comment, he quite summed up why I do what I do.  I'm extremely proud of some of my accomplishments (Though there is certainly plenty left to do, especially if the powers that be continue in the way that they have).

Someone else pointed out earlier today, that we (pointing to the Connectathon floor) could be making a lot more money working in IT in the finance industry, but they prefer doing what they do (working in Health IT), because of the impact it has on lives.  This week, I get to hang out with nearly 600 people who love their jobs, many of whom will never work in another industry because they feel that what they do in healthcare is so important.  It's intense.  It's exhausting.  And it is extremely rewarding.  To think that something you wrote, or created, or designed, or managed, will save a life, is a fantastic thing to be able to say about yourself.

But that same speaker commented on something else I'd talked about having worked on (spelling correction), and pointed out the value of being forgotten.  I don't recall exactly what he said,  but I'll sum it up in this way:

When what you have worked on becomes so commonplace that nobody remembers what it was like before we had it, then you have truly had an impact.  My new goal in life is not to be remembered, but to be forgotten.  And when I get there, there will always be something else to do.

-- Keith

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