It’s this book I started reading.
I was watching this interview the other day… it was the Rubin Report and Dave Rubin was interviewing Owen Benjamin (semi-famous comedian). Anyway, Benjamin mentioned this book called, The Screwtape Letters…
And, it sounded interesting.
So, I bought it.
Anyway, it’s basically this collection of letters between these two demons talking about how to collect souls. Except, you only get one side of the letters… the letters from the demon named “Screwtape”… thus the name of the book.
But, it’s not the content that’s got me.
It’s the format.
Screwtape ends every letter with:
“Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape”.
So, it’s not just some letters between two random demons. It’s really an older, wiser family member trying to impart his wisdom to a younger one. And, it’s really got into my head.
I’ve always felt like I had at least one good book in me.
But, I could never really nail down on exactly what…
Or, how I’d write it.
A “Letter to My Sons” type book just seems so obvious. I’ve literally been up all night thinking about it. And, of course, my head just started spinning with, “Well, what would I write in a letter to my sons?”
And, the thing I can’t stop thinking about is:
The best way I can explain it is to use my parents as an example. And, truthfully, I hesitate to even write this on the off-chance they might read this and it rub salt in their wounds… but that’s kinda the point.
If I had to guess…
When my parents got married and had kids… and they sat down to think about what kind of life they wanted to have, what kind of life they wanted to give their kids, what kind of legacy they wanted to leave…
How things turned out…
Would have been the nightmare scenario.
Probably worse than their worst nightmare scenario.
Now look, they had a rough go of it. No one could have predicted that my dad would get in a car accident, become a quadriplegic and really never be the same again. Some bad shit happened.
The reality is…
They left their kids nothing.
Less than nothing, in fact.
And, that’s a hard pill to swallow.
And, it’s something I think about a lot. What kind of legacy am I going to leave behind? How will I be remembered? Will I be remembered? Will my grandkids and my great grandkids and my great great grandkids even know who I am.
I think about my grandpa on my dad’s side.
I never knew him.
He died before I was born.
So, I never once heard him speak. I don’t know how he thought, what type of man he was. I don’t know a thing about him, really… outside of a few pictures. To me, he really is a ghost.
I don’t want to be a ghost.
I know some of you reading this aren’t at that age yet… where you’ve really begun to think about these things. What I’m saying to you is… one day, you will be. And, you’ll wish you’d started thinking about it sooner.
That you’d done more sooner.
That’s not to make you feel regret or anything…
But, to encourage to maybe think about it a little now.
To worry a little less about the immediacy of right now. Yes, you gotta educate yourself and get work, pay bills and take care of all those things that require your immediate attention.
But, don’t sacrifice your legacy for those things.
Don’t give up on the big things you wanna do in life…
Don’t stifle who you really want to be…
For a paycheck or a client or a job.
You will regret it.
Instead, start thinking (at least a little bit now) about how you want to be remembered. What story do you want your kids to tell their kids… and their kids tell their kids, and on and on?
Someday, that’s gonna be all that matters to you.
And, you’ll wish you started now.
I’m writing this as much to myself as I am you. For awhile now, I’ve been lying to you. Not outright lying, but pretending. I always wanted this newsletter to be something more, something deeper.
Something truly valuable…
That dove into the hard stuff… like legacy.
But, I’ve always felt hemmed in with concerns about “keeping on topic” and the posts being too long, not directly related to code, too theoretical or ethereal… all these reasons I’ve avoided going all in on what I really wanted to do…
Which was talk about the really important stuff.
And, to be honest… I don’t think the code is all that important.
It is… but it isn’t.
You gotta learn it…
But, that’s not what’s going to make you successful.
It just isn’t.
There’s so much more to it.
In any case, no more. I’m done writing to please others. My legacy is so much more important than how many subscribers or opens or clicks or whatever the hell else I always tend to worry about.
And, I’m just going to focus on telling the truth…
As I see it.
Anyway, for most of you… I know that’ll be the end of this little blog “fling” we’ve had. You’re in a different place or you’ll think it’s lame or whatever else you might say. And, that’s cool.
But, if you’ve read this far…
It might just be because you sense it…
That this is what you’re really after.
You might consider sticking around.
Anyway, do with that what you will. My goal is to help you on this journey in the best ways I know how. Yes, some of that will still be code… you gotta learn that stuff. But, also with the stuff beyond that.
All those things.
All stuff you gotta learn…
So, you can move onto the bigger things…
And actually start building your legacy.
Anyway, pick one and let’s get rollin’.
Also published on Medium.