Fear Being Unknown

Be known for who you loved, what you gave, what you created and how you lived.

“You say you are a nameless man. You are not to your wife and to your child... You are not nameless to me. Do not remain nameless to yourself. It is too sad a way to be. Know your place in the world.” ― Richard Feynman

As I grow older, my biggest fear is not the unknown. It is BEING unknown.

When we die, our memory lives on in those who love us. It lives on in those we inspire. It lives on in the things of value we create. Such things transcend time. They take on a life of their own and provide true immortality.

I had a vivid nightmare where I inspired no one. I was loved by no one. I failed to create anything of value. I was pinned under the weight of the world and crushed into oblivion. It was as if I never existed.

I had a taste of what it must be like to die with regret. There is now an urgency to be known, not superficially but in a deeply meaningful way.

How do you avoid being unknown? Some ideas worth pursuing...

Engage with other human beings. Don’t remain aloof and indifferent. Relationships are messy things, but connecting with others will strengthen and enlighten you. You no longer have to imagine the support of others. You no longer have to shout into the void. Someone now cares enough to listen.

Lead with giving. Whether in personal relationships or business, be genuine, honest and trustworthy. Establish credibility by giving to others in need of what you can provide. It will be returned tenfold and drown out the occasional bite of the snake.

Create things of value early and often. Don’t wait for perfect conditions. Don’t waste effort on meaningless pursuits. Put your work out there. Explore. Experiment. Play. Your courage to create will ultimately be rewarded with resonance.

Live boldly. Paint with bright colors. Your “era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place [you] are entering a period of consequences.” [Winston Churchill]

Live a life with no regrets. Attain immortality. Be known!