How Long You Live Is Not How Much You Live

How Long You Live Is Not How Much You Live

Prince’s passing reminds us of what it takes to live an extraordinarily innovative and fullfilled life

Prince’s passing is going to stir up an avalanche of celebrity worship, but there’s so much more to respect and learn from what this amazing entrepreneur accomplished as an individual.

There will be plenty said about the volume of his work and the enormous breadth of his talent, but for me the admiration is much deeper; it is about someone who saw no obstacles, only opportunities to innovate.

This was an individual who lived his life in his own way. His extraordinary dedication to his passion and his commitment to his art was a role model for all of us.

I’m 57. It hits home hard for me; too young to leave this world. But it also reminds me that there is only one way to live a life, however long–in your own way, without regrets for chances not taken and with the deep satisfaction of knowing that you’ve given 150% of your heart and soul to everything you’ve done, your business, your relationships, yourself; that passion has been your unwavering compass; that you haven’t compromised your beliefs and your dreams for anything less than total dedication to them; that you have approached innovation and innovating yourself without fear; that however many years you’ve had or have left you can leave this life with the knowledge that it was a life well lived and well loved.

My daughter once came to me when she was very young in a panic. Somehow she had come to realize her own mortality. With tears flowing she said, “Daddy, I don’t want to die.” What do you say to that? I told her that “we all will die but not all of us will live. Be afraid of not living, not of dying.”

So, let this remarkable life be a reminder, whatever your passion, that while we have no choice in how long we live, we have every choice in how much we do.

Tom Koulopoulos is the author of ten books and founder of the Delphi Group, a 25-year-old Boston-based think tank and a past Inc 500 company, which focuses on innovation and the future of business. He is also an adjunct professor at the Boston University Graduate School of Management, an Executive in Residence at Bentley University, the past Executive Director of the Babson College Center for Business Innovation, and a frequent keynote speaker. The late Peter Drucker once said of his writing, that it challenges not only the way you run your business but the way you run yourself. Tom’s latest book is The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping The Future of Business.

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