ith hundreds of Billions of Dollars in net-worth, what is the final game for Bill and Melinda Gates? Is there any point in time that Bill and Melinda ever imagined that they would be this wealthy, especially when Bill’s passion was “just” Microsoft? At some point in time, Bill Gates vision was to have each home with a Personal Computer (PC), running his Microsoft Windows operating system.
Today, Bill Gates is no longer running is mammoth world-wide organization of Microsoft. Instead, the greatest passion that Gates and his wife Melinda are engaged in is Health! Would you believe that? How did their vision change?
You know something about purpose and passion and vision? The very nature of these things is that they are intangible. It is impossible to quantify the passion of Jesus Christ for example. It is impossible to quantify the zeal of Martin Luther King Jnr. My purpose in life is “To speak a word in season to those who are weary”. How do you quantify that?
We have already seen in an earlier post that your purpose will evolve with time. However, what we need to notice is that that purpose will also grow. It is possible that your purpose grows to such a level that it outlives or outshines what you intended. It is possible that in it’s purest form, your purpose is to create massive impact in the lives of people. It’s also possible that that purpose might not be the “traditional purpose” that emanates from your gifts, talents and skills.
This “Last Act” as I am calling it, never is far from your heart. Bill Gates for example having lots of financial resources, does not decide to “save the world” by spreading himself thin all over the place. He chooses to concentrate his power resources on one aspect of impact in life, which is health. I am yet to establish why he has a soft spot for health. Now, even further to this focus, Bill and Melinda Gates are not big on cancer or measles. Their biggest attack and impact is focused on fighting Malaria, Alzheimer and Polio. They are pouring loads of finances into research in order to find one of societies biggest problems: health. Today if you listened to Bill Gates talking, you would be mistaken to think that he is a health practitioner by profession:
“Malaria is a very complex disease and understanding the etiology and the resistance, and do you do mass test and treat, do you do MDA [mass drug administration],”
My point is simple. Our legacy will be defined by the impact that we leave on the earth. Impact is measurable and quantifiable. I think what we need to do is to relook at our purpose with a perspective of what the final act will be.
I have a feeling that if we thought “beyond enough”, that if we took great time to really think long about what impact we desire to bring to humanity we shall find some answers. Well, some of you already do know what great impact it is that you want to do. For others, it comes alive as your own purpose keeps morphing into something bigger and greater. Others yet, you might have experienced something traumatic in your life that made you to vow to fix it if you ever had a chance.
For example, my biggest impact that I want to create on this earth is building physical Life Signatures Universities across Africa. These will specialize in maximizing the potential in people, and will shift from the traditional emphasis on academics alone. There is a reason why I want to do this and not for example have an impact in animal conservation. It still is in my field of purpose because it is close to my heart.
Years back, a close family member had chronic kidney failure. As a family we suffered much at the hands of a Government hospital. Right there and then, I vowed that I would one day replicate a hospital that big in each major part of my country, but revolutionize the way people are handled. That dream still flickers in the distance of my my innermost part.
Finally, I see very many young people talented in sports. My desire is to build institutions that would harness these talents right from the earliest age until these people are professional athletes. I believe what Myles Munroe says about the grave yard is true. If I could have this part of my “Last Act” come to pass, we would have made tremendous impact on the face of the earth.
These three things come from my heart. I do not feel so strongly about other things but just these.
If you wanted to leave a tangible legacy, the following are practical areas that you could look at. Please note that the hint is that these things ought to resonate strongly in your heart of hearts.
Do you know a guy called Billy Graham. Chances are that you do. How about Dalai Lama? Chances are that you do. They have made great impact as far as religion is concerned. Their “last act” will always be connected to religion. I have a very big soft sport for this one, at times I feel it so strong that I was called in this area. Let’s wait and see.
This has already been mentioned extensively.
Sir Ken Robinson is passionate about this one. His contribution in the sector is mind boggling. This is the sector that I too would love to be identified with in my “Last Act”.
There are hundreds of names that can be mentioned here. If this is the thing that you feel in your heart should be your Last Act, I have maximum respect for you.
Terry Haugen is an incredible fellow. He launched the International Justice Mission whose work is to rescue girls and women who are caught up in human trafficking, slave and sex trade.
I nearly said Oprah could be identified with this…for I once watched her giving away houses to random needy people. But this is a tangible area of impact that if you are passionate about, you could leave a worthy legacy behind.
We cannot exhaust talking about Elon Musk. Interestingly, he started off as a computer guru and earned his first millions from his product that he directly channeled into Space Exploration and electric cars. Such a huge impact this man is making.
There is much more that you can have an impact in life on when you have enough money to pour in to it. Whatever your choice is, think about what impact you could make in the whole world! It could be that you were born for just a function as this, don’t you think so?