What a great title!! The author, Tom Rath, has also been involved with writing about Strength Finders, which was a great asset to me and my law firm when I was practicing. Beyond personality, Strength Finders focuses on those traits that serve you personally well in the workplace. Super helpful, especially in a work place that contains disparate people from various generations and backgrounds.
Rath’s book, for which I am writing this review, came after his work with Strength Finders and is about his personal story. The story begins with his grandfather and the most important lesson his grandfather taught him, which is:
… the best way to fill my own bucket was to spend time filling other people’s …
He goes on to lay out the three elements that must be present if one is to apply this principle to ones life, to wit:
- Get Over Yourself;
- Invest in the People Who Matter Most; and
- Focus on What Will Grow When You Are Gone.
Since Rath suffers from a genetic condition that has reduced his life expectancy significantly, I was particularly interested in his perspective. Many of the insights laid out in the book clearly stem from the viewpoint of someone understanding that life is short. Some of the quotable comments he makes that resonated with me are:
How Full Is Your Bucket?
Living a Life of Contribution
He ends with this:
Most people agree life is not about focusing on self-oriented or monetary ambitions. It is about what you create that improves lives. It is about investing in the development of other people. And it is about participating in efforts that will continue to grow when you are gone. In the end, you won’t get to stay around forever, but your contributions will.
In the end, you are what you contributed to the world.
It’s helpful for me to think about a legacy and leaving a legacy in a concrete way. The contributions that I make will live on and that’s a comforting thought to someone living with a terminal diagnosis.