Remember the Name
“This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, and a hundred percent reason to remember the name.”
This is the opening line to the Fort Minor song, “Remember the name”. Lately it has become the anthem of my writing. It resonates with me; the above ratio applies to all creative efforts. We all want to spend ourselves completely for our art. Why?
Ultimately, the reason I write is for posterity. It’s the reason we create, posterity. Beyond doing something because you love or because it glorifies God, or insert reason here, it is all about wanting to be remembered.
In studied archaeology in college, and I have seen it over and over again that man, since the day the first was created, has striven to make a mark on the world. “How will I be remembered?” is one of the most important and scariest questions a man has to ask himself.
I think the reason we put so much emphasis on being remembered is because our time here is relatively brief, and want to believe that to some extent it mattered.
Then there are those who create, everyone creates something, but I am talking about those derisively called dreamers by those who cannot dream. They create, because to not create is to die. They are consumed by their art, it preoccupies all their time. In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says that an artist should cultivate the mindset of a professional, a cool detachment from their work, like that of a mercenary.
I think it is this professional attitude that begins to cultivate the idea of fame and remembrance the professional no longer just does his art for the love it, he has to sell it or it will consume him.
In the end we all want to be remembered when we’re gone. I think Bruce Lee said it best, when he said: “The secret to immortality, is first, living a life worth remembering.”
I think being remembered will go beyond what I write, it will be more than what I earned in my lifetime. I will live on the stories told about me. I have had this experience already in my life (no, I didn’t die). I heard from people I have never met before that when they met the group of friend I have in Lincoln, Ne., that they were always told stories about “Jon the BIG” and that I was in China.
From this fact I can see that I have an impact, which is what we all want. An I know that that impact will only grow as my circle grows, as I get married and have a family (the ultimate legacy). In the end, they will remember the name, even if the general public never hears the name.