Who will remember you a year after you die?

Your kids, your parents, your siblings. Not many others.

Michelle Okafor
4 min readDec 2, 2023

Such is life. Matthew Perry died and everyone who loved Friends was devastated. But a year from now, you may only remember him if you happen to watch another rerun of Friends.

I still clearly remember my dad who died in 2014 and my mother who died in 2020, but they are about the only people that come to mind when I think about the dead. Occasionally I will remember my grandparents, but not often.

Every day we get up and there is a frantic rush to get everything done that is needed today. Whether you need to get to work, get on with your studies or even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, there are things to be done.

We go through the motions and get through the day. We get home exhausted and when you lay down in bed, you’re already thinking about tomorrow.

Sometimes, when you’re a little bit alert, you might ask, why am I doing all of this? What am I trying to achieve?

One basic answer may be that we need to earn an income and get that degree to advance in our careers. There is nothing wrong with that.

The question simply is, are you truly making the most of every day, are you living today, or are you merely existing? Going through the motions is just existing.

The countdown hours have begun the minute you were born. In your younger, formative years you may not remember much, but once you reach adulthood you have two options.

You can just fall in line, get stuff done, and die. That’s what most people do. You don’t have to overthink it.

If you really want to live, it will take serious effort, every single day. It will take a waking up and consciousness that requires effort. You will need to be present every day, questioning the status quo, questioning why it is this way and why can’t it be different.

It can be different, but it will take work. If you start now, in 6 months your trajectory will look very different. If you decide to stay on the path you’re on, nothing will change and you may be comfortable with that too.

All the limitations are in your mind.

You can achieve big things if you decide it in your mind and you put a plan in place to get there. They say, once you take the first step, the staircase will appear, but you must be on the first step.

Step one

Day one

Today

Why don’t you make that decision today? Yesterday was December 1st. Maybe you want to wait until January 1st. It’s easier then because there is this euphoria in the air and everyone has New Year’s resolutions.

Come January 31st, all those goals will be packed away like the Christmas tree, to be taken out once again on January 1st.

Is this the life you want for yourself?

No?

Then you have to put in the work. It’s the only way.

I set a goal for myself that I want to complete 10,000 steps every day. Yesterday I was in meetings most of the day so when I got home, I was only at 5,000 steps. After dinner, around 7pm, I was only on 5 500 steps.

The sun had already set. I was at that point where I could give up and say, listen, Michelle, today let’s just be happy with 5 500 steps.

I decided to put on some flat shoes and went out the door and started working around the block. It was already dark, but it was a warm evening and very pleasant. In no time I got to 10 000 steps. I was happy that I didn’t remain on the couch where it was cosy.

Maybe next time when I am faced with the same challenge, I may remain on the couch. What I know for sure is that your next decision has the potential to change everything.

Today, it’s Saturday and I am up early. After finishing this piece, I will put on my running shoes and go to the gym. I don’t want to be caught again at 7pm with only 5 500 steps. I plan to get 10,000 steps by lunchtime.

The decision is made. All because last night at 7pm I made a decision not to remain on the couch.

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Michelle Okafor

Writer of short, inspirational pieces. Make the most of your time here, for we pass this way only once. See the good in yourself and others.