Sunday, May 18, 2008

What will I do if I discover that I am dying tomorrow?

I met a very interesting person yesterday at TiECon 2008 - Harold Katzenschlager. He is a from a small town near Vienna, Austria and he is a "Mental Coach" as per his business card. I met him while putting sugar in my coffee in one of the break sessions at TiECon. There was an aura of calmness around him and I think this forced me to initiate the conversation with him.

I talked to him for 30 mins and he shared his experiences of his travels all over the world, how he escaped Dec 2004 Tsunami by a whisker, his experiences with people all over the world etc.

As a part of his coaching, he asks lot of open ended questions. When  we were towards the end of our conversation, he asked me -

"What will I do if I discover that I am dying tomorrow?".

I struggled to find the answer. I thought about it for a while and tried to remember what I wrote in my graduate school essays (!!!).  But, I couldn't come with an impressive answer. I gave some random answer and the smile on his face said it all. He knew that I was not giving the answer from my heart.

I kept on thinking about this for the rest of the day - during all panel sessions, lunch, dinner etc. My 'bulb' lit up when I was driving back from Shruti's house.

Earlier in the day, I heard Mike Malone moderating the discussion with Elon Musk (founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX). He closed the discussion by saying:

'Ladies and Gentleman, Elon Musk, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire"

While driving back, I started thinking about how people should remember me after I am gone from this world. And the voice came from somewhere:

"Entrepreneur Extraordinaire"

I will become an entrepreneur if I discover that I am dying tomorrow!

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