I recently took it upon myself to study the life and business endeavors of the all-time great, iconic, steel-magnate named Andrew Carnegie (pronounced “Car-nay-gee” – if you add a bit of an Scottish swing to your voice it produces the name perfectly).

I checked out movies from the library, as many books as I dared to check out at one time, and even Carnegie’s own personal memoirs. However, just last night, I believe I read the most profound writing of all of the works ABOUT or BY Carnegie. I read Carnegie’s essay entitled, The Gospel of Wealth.

Now, why was this the most profound?

Well, for a few reasons, but I believe this quote at the end of the essay sums up the entire essay brilliantly:

The man who dies rich, dies disgraced.

In The Gospel of Wealth, Carnegie covers the 3 ways to pass on massive wealth and he ranks them from the least to greatest lasting significance. He states that the best way to pass-on one’s wealth is during one’s lifetime (now known as philanthropy) because you yourself can dictate and direct your funds where they might be most beneficial to the furtherance of society.

But I took this even a step further, how many of us think like this in all that we possess as human beings placed on this earth for an appointed time? What do I mean by this? I mean, think about it, we’ve all been given the same amount of time each day (Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther, George Washington Carver, Timothy P. Bickers) – we all have 24 hours each day! The question is, how are we using our time?

But even more so, how are you producing results in the future lives and generations to come? You may have not been blessed with the immense billions that Andrew Carnegie possessed during his lifetime (adjusted to inflation – he sold his steel company for $480 million in 1901, which in today’s cash would be roughly $11 billion). To read more: Andrew Carnegie’s Retirement on Wikipedia.

However, we all have been given the same amount of time and life each day. What are you doing with it?

I’d like to slightly rephrase Carnegie’s wealth-shaking statement:

The man who dies full (full of ideas), dies disgraced.

Don’t take the books you’ve always meant to write to the grave with you.

Don’t take the ideas you’re always thinking about to the grave with you.

Don’t die full of life when you should be living it out now.

Die empty. Die with the gifts God gave you used up to their ultimate capacity. Pass on your life to the generations to come.

Thank you, Andrew Carnegie, for living the last part of your life to further me and my generation.

I plan to leave a billion dollar legacy on this earth too.

What will you be remembered for?