This simple but excellent question was put to me once by Merlin Mann. I’ve reflected on it many times over the years, and I’d ask it of promising candidates in job interviews. I’m asking myself now, as I mark one more revolution around the Sun.
Some people say “Money.” Okay, sure… but why?
Others say “Time.” That’s maybe closer to my heart—but again, to what end? What are you/we doing with the time we have now?
For me the answer has always been “Impact.” I don’t know whether that’s “right” (if such a thing exists), but it captures my eternal desire to make a positive dent in the universe, as Steve Jobs would put it. I want to leave things better than I found them—happier, more beautiful, more fun—for my family, friends, and the creative world at large.
Maybe better answers exist—Love, Courage, Wisdom; I want them all in great abundance. From those things would flow impact & all other goodness.
I dunno; how about you?