Scott’s Thoughts: Built to Last

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

William James, (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910), American psychologist and philosopher

Painting of the Mona Lisa.

William James’ brother was the novelist Henry James, also a great thinker who left behind books which have lasted nearly a century after his death. The great artists last; what they create is often only appreciated long after they’re gone. Their contributions live on as long as we recognize a place for their works in our life.

As we head into the final months of 2019, I’m curious: What are you building that will last?

You don’t have to write a book or paint a masterpiece. For some, raising a son or daughter is the great work of their life. For others, charitable works will be their legacy. But I think life is really worth living when we can answer the question, “What am I building to last?” It isn’t what you’re buying, and it isn’t necessarily what you’re earning.

If you’ve ever watched the Antiques Road Show on PBS, it’s interesting to note that the objects with “provenance” are sometimes those with the greatest value. Provenance is “a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.” These origin stories matter. They remind us that someone made something to last, and we should honor that impulse.

Somewhere I read that “your life is a movie you arrive at 20 minutes late and are forced to leave 20 minutes early.” We’re not sure how it all started, and we won’t be around to see how it all turns out. The big picture is bigger than we can see from here. I think the best we can do is build something that will outlast us, something that will do some good down the line.

Tags: ,

Please support the partners who make Tuesday Tactics possible:


Comments are closed.