There is nothing that is as useless as the pursuit of legacy. To be remembered when you’re not living, by people in the future, many of who haven’t been born yet.
So instead of trying to be remembered as ‘great’ or successful, ‘Fall Glimmer, Sparkle and Fade’.
At the end of The Outsider, and in maybe my favourite piece of writing ever, Albert Camus’ character, after being imprisoned, is being consoled (against his wishes) by the chaplain. After Meursault cracks it and tells him, he can keep his God, and the faith of something in another life, Meursault, chooses to live this life. Even if it means he burns out spectacularly (which he’s about to do, in front of a lot of people).
I told him not to waste his rotten prayers on me; it was better to burn than to disappear.
Or as Neil Young says in Hey, Hey, My, My:
It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.
Because why? Because ‘So Much for the Afterglow.’ Don’t rely on some bullshit afterglow. You live, then you die. So now, in the living part, live.