I have a lot of irons in the fire. I would have to take a bunch of them out of the fire if my physician told me that I was terminal.
I have a lot of projects in mind that I can finish if my mind remains alert, I discipline myself, I stick to a tight budget, and I live for 15 more years. If I live for 20, all the better. If I match Jacques Barzun and Peter Drucker in age and productivity, I can achieve a whole lot. But it’s all dependent on my survival. It’s the compounding effect that will make the difference. These are all long-term projects.
I have short-term projects, too, such as writing four articles a day, six days a week, for this website.
So many projects, so little time. Are you in a similar situation? You should be. I highly recommend it.
You need several long-term projects that might make a difference. These will constitute your primary legacy. They are projects that no one else is likely to do. They will be the things you are remembered for. They take lots of time.
Sure, if you’re an inventor, and you stumble across The Big One, and you raise capital for it, and a government regulatory agency does not bankrupt your company, and a competitor does not steal it, maybe you can leave a legacy in just five years. How likely is that? How many inventions ever pan out commercially? Optimists say 20%. Pessimists say a tenth of one percent.
I suspect that the pessimists are closer to the truth. The odds are against you.