It is Thorsten Pattberg’s 12 Step Program: How to Live Forever.
I was skeptical at first. Remember Steve Martin’s 2 Step plan to becoming a millionaire and never paying taxes?
Step 1: Get a million dollars.
Step 2: Never pay taxes.
But no. It’s not like that. Thorsten Pattberg is the real deal. And we’re not talking about a zombie revolution here either. Not that shallow, reanimated walking-the-planet, vampire-living-in-a-casket-during-daylight sort of eternal life.
Pattberg has mapped out how to live forever in the hearts and minds of the Universal History of the World!
That has always been a goal of mine.
Don’t know him? Out of Peking University? Oh Pattberg’s the guy. He’s featured on Big Think right alongsideauthorities on brain function and meditation, predicting politics and maps ofNorth Sea bivalves. Yeah. So.
I figured I’d just go ahead and get started. With the legacy thing, you know. No time like the right now.
So, here we go. Just gonna jump in with Step 1. Ready…
Step 1: Be that kind of person.
Now I wasn’t totally clear on his concept at first, but right out of the chute, I think I can safely say I am some kind of a person. I’ve had a lot of character building along the way. People tell me all the time. Or at least they ask, “What happened to you?”
I’ve always taken that as a sign.
But let’s see what Thorsten says… “Are you a person who has little ego or commits to selfless behavior for the betterment of the human race?”
Well yeah. All the time. I mean every day I’m doing something that is just so remarkably nice you wouldn’t believe it.
And I NEVER say anything to anyone about it. I’m just that kind of person – altruistic to the extreme. Dazzlingly so. And so modest that no one ever knows exactly how truly generous and self-sacrificing I am.
That’s the beauty of it actually. No one knows, so no one can say anything to the contrary!
So, I clearly have a leg up on Step 1. I’m there. Let’s move on already.
Step 2: Have a great idea.
TP – for the sake of efficiency, that’s how I’ll refer to Thorsten Pattberg from here on out. TP says, “You need a plan, a system, a manifesto, a mission. Write it down.”
OK. This one’s a little tougher. I mean I write stuff down every week, as you well know. And thank you, by the way, for knowing that. It means a lot to me. Honestly.
And Hallelujah! TP is actually fairly lenient on this point. He says the great idea can be in the form of a book, an unpublished manuscript, an essay, a drawing, a diary, a couple of poems, a draft for a constitution, or just a few lines of thought.
Heck, I’ll dash off a couple of poems this afternoon. Do I have an unpublished manuscript?? Essays?! Ha! I am replete! I doodle in the margins ALL the time! Done and done.
So, it seems I am well along the way to interminable, er, everlasting impact.
And I love this part: He goes on to say, “Your great idea … will forever distract the critic's eye away from your over-the-top personality toward that genius.”
It’s as though he’s playing right into my hands!
So let’s just jump ahead. Cut to the unending bottom line.
Let’s see: Step 4: Be a force of creation. Check. Step 6: Know that followers will follow. Check.
Step 10: Become an exemplar person. A hero. OK. In all humility, check.
Ah, here we go –
Step 12: Carefully plan your legacy. “Ideally,” he says, “you should have died before age 40. If you live longer, your genius has probably left you. [But] the shock of your death will make people say good things about you that they would never have said about a living or elderly person.”
Very funny. Who knew TP was such a jokester?
And if, in the sense of building an eternal legacy, I’ve had the misfortune of having lived too long? “Keep creating,” he says. “Do saintly work.”