This, from Stephen Downes, is so good I'm just going to quote it as-is.
Yes, the world probably existed before me, and it will probably continue to exist after I'm gone, but for me, my life is the universe, and vice versa. This is the state of it.
This coming year I will turn 60, which I suppose will leave me in a state of reflection for the next twelve months or more. It's hard to know how far to plan ahead. I'm as eager to start new things as I ever was, but there's a horizon there.
In The Denial of Death Ernest Becker writes that we essentially live our lives as if there is no end, because there's no alternative. This 'immortality project' is what allows us to transcend the end of our physical existence, by building a heroic and symbolic legacy that carries on no matter what.
So, yeah, everyone is the hero of their own story, and I am no different, and while surely there will be a time to rest, it is not now, and so I continue to work and learn as though that horizon is infinitely receding.
My outlook, my advice, my ambitions also.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind