I recently attended a memorial service and celebration of life party for my uncle who had passed during Thanksgiving week. The irony of the timing was not lost on me, as he was one of my favorite people that I was truly thankful for, and I certainly wasn’t alone! He was a good man, good son and brother, good husband, good father, good uncle and good friend. He was a very good person.
As I participated in the celebration of his life, I was squeezed by the impact of his legacy. Listening to his five children recount his lasting impact on them, something deep in my soul shifted. He had guided me most of my adult life to grow and learn and strive to be the best person I could be. In that moment, I realized he wasn’t truly gone. He will live on in the mannerisms, and little nuances that echo in his kids. He will continue to live on in the lessons he taught me. And he will live on through the effect of his pleasant and peaceful disposition that influenced all those he touched. Yes, he will live on through his legacy.
Cherish some man of high character, and keep him ever before your eyes, living as if he were watching you, and ordering all your actions as if he beheld them…for we must indeed have someone according to who we may regulate our characters; you can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler.”Seneca
Our personal legacy is described as what we leave behind. What we pass on. I saw a description of a legacy to that of planting a tree – so future generations may see your example and plant their own seeds for their legacy. Our legacy is rooted in our values, our actions, and our behavior, and the sum of all our days grows into the tree which represents us and our life’s work.
Do you ever have a quiet moment when you consider “What will I leave behind when I’m gone? How will I be remembered? What do I want to be remembered for?”
We don’t have to be a superstar or celebrity to leave a legacy. We have the power to create exponential impact through our interactions with each-and-every person who intersects our life.
- We leave a legacy through our friends or neighbors by our actions that in some minute way we impacted their life with kindness, compassion, and positive energy.
- We do it through our business partners and clients we serve with our job, career or business by acting with integrity, honesty and sound judgment.
- We do it through our family with love, honor, commitment and fun.
I feel with certainty now that this shift happened right when I needed it to happen. I saw and felt my uncle’s legacy deep in my heart and knew with certainty that it came to me now while I’m at the crossroads for the next chapter in my life.
Right now, I’m seeking ways for my work to provide the biggest impact possible for as many people possible, and to continue to honor this precious gift we call life every single day.
In what ways can I be a better person personally and professionally? In what ways can I add love and positivity and compassion to the world?
Stephen Covey, author of First Things First, does a great job in explaining the principles for us to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy. His book shows us – “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. It’s a wonderful read for anyone seeking guidance on putting our first things first or you can explore his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People which describes Covey as “presenting an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.” I love both of these books and revisit them often.
There doesn’t have to be a great discovery in science, or a life-changing political or moral victory in our resume. There doesn’t have to be fame or fortune to have positively impacted the world. All there has-to-be is the awareness of the legacy we’re creating.
At Paragon Road explore more about how “your Personal Legacy Statement is your declaration of how you’d like to live your life and impact others from an ethical standpoint. It’s different from goals, which are about achievements. The objective of a Personal Legacy Statement is to clearly state your principles, how you intend to treat others, how you plan to care for your spiritual needs, and how you will share your legacy.”
No, the world doesn’t have to know our name for the world to know us and how we honored it by making it a better place in some small way. And that is a wonderful legacy to leave.
Keep it Simple,