For most of my adult life I have been asked one question continually: ‘Daniel, when are you going to have kids?’
And to the surprise of whoever is asking, I tell them the same thing: ‘Never’.
I don’t know why but for whatever reason, I’ve never had even a 1% desire to raise a family. To me, the idea of being a parent is so strange that it almost doesn’t make sense why people want to do it.
Of course, when I say ‘Never’ people always reply with ‘You will change someday.’
Today I am in my 40s and I feel exactly the same about it as I have since I was 14. I have zero interest in raising children.
For those who value having a family, this seems strange, or selfish, or foolish.
But to me, it is exactly the way I want to live my life.
Many people have children because they feel like their family will be their legacy in the world. Their children will pass on their genes, their traditions and remember them.
But the truth is, after a few decades, the older generations are forgotten.
Unless a person contributes in some larger way to the world, their legacy of a family is washed away by the time their great grandchildren grow up.
For me, I feel like I want to do something different with my time here. I want to create and contribute to the world in a larger way through speaking, writing, and influencing people to live their best life.
I don’t want to be a guru, I want to give the very best of myself to make an impact.
Just as I was inspired at age 14 to become an actualizer by Earl Nightingale, I want to do the same with my life for others. I never had the chance to meet Earl, but his effect on my life has been profound. And I know at age 40, I am starting to impact others in a small way as well.
I’m sharing this because lately it has been on my mind what will be left when I’m done. One day when I die, what will be left?
These blog posts, my speeches, my videos and the lives I’ve contributed to are much more important to me than the need to raise a family. I think that because I don’t have a need to have children that somehow I have more energy to pour into these activities.
I write this as a reminder to myself during the tough times, the moments of doubt, when fear and laziness set in and I don’t want to keep contributing. When someone questions my choice to live how I do and to not join the legion of people who need to have children.
Our lives belong solely to us, and how we live them is our choice.
Yet it’s very easy to forget that the greatest joy is in impacting others. For some, that is through a family. For people like me, that is through leaving a bigger legacy.
Today I feel like I am only just getting started with what I can do to impact. And as the years roll on, I hope to feel even more galvanized to live a life that impacts.
My work is what I want to give to the world.
Maybe if I do it well enough, someday, I will be remembered.
When I’m done.