Thursday Thought #145: What’s Your Endgame?

I was recently talking to a great friend of mine about life, work and the different projects and endeavors we have going on right now. During this conversation, he asked me a very interesting question.

F: “What’s your end game, Brenton?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

F: “Well I know you’re working on a number of things and I think that beautiful thing about what you’ve got going is that you can say ‘I don’t know what my endgame is.'”

Me: “But on the contrary, I do know. And I know very well. My endgame is to leave a body of work that moved humanity forward by the time I’m in the ground.”

I thought it a really fascinating question because even if my goal were to become a billionaire, the thing is, I just might reach that goal. And if that glorious moment of wealth were to dawn on me, then I would have to think up and set a new goal. Because life doesn’t end when you check a box…even a big box. Even the biggest box you’ve ever imagined for yourself.

You have to keep being who you’ve become. Or, you have to continue to evolve into a new being.

The only endgame in life is the end. It’s the same journey that we all have to walk while we live and breathe the essence of the world. But the more interesting question is: what will that world be like when you’re gone?

I’ve always looked at my life at probably an unreasonably long time horizon.I don’t look at it in terms of 5 years or 10 years. But rather, I look at it in terms of 50 years or 100 years. Or 500 years. I ask myself: would someone be moved by this piece of work 100 years from now? Would it be valuable to them? If the answer is no, I might still do it anyway…but it’s much more interesting and fulfilling if the answer is yes.

Because there is no final level in life. There’s no final boss to give us the gold star. To quote Ms. Joanne Rowling, “we open at the close,” starting just where we began. And there’s a great freedom in that if we let there be.

Because it all goes back in the box one day, for someone else to pick up the game where you left off.

So what’s your endgame?