Sunday, September 14, 2008

Your Legacy

Your Legacy

By: Joseph W. Norman

“We all leave legacies. Be intentional about making a positive difference with yours.” – Ken Blanchard

This week’s challenge to you is to think about the legacy you want to leave. What is it that you want to be remembered for? Who do you want to serve with your life? I guarantee you’ve got a lot of life to live, but the amount of time you have left does not diminish the importance of determining your desired value to humanity. If you do not define your significance, then it will be difficult for you to deliver it.

I realize this sounds a little heavy. However, this thought was inspired by a recent series of deaths that I have indirectly experienced. You can learn a lot about life by observing and learning from the way some people die.

One of the most powerful movies I have ever seen is Braveheart. In the movie, William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson), delivers a poignant fact; “Every man dies but not every man really lives.” That quote has stuck with me for many years because it keeps me attune to how I live out my mortal days.

How do you become deliberate about your legacy? It starts by being more conscious about the way you are living your life.

Here are some questions which may help you discover your intentions. Sit down in a quiet place and write down your answers. Be brutally honest with yourself. No answer is a wrong answer:

Who are you?

What are your authentic desires and ambitions? (No dream is too big)

What did you do today to serve others?

If you knew you were going to die in ten days, who would you call and what would you say to them?

Why haven’t you done that yet?

Who do you want to get your stuff?

Have you taken the steps to make sure that happens? (Financial planning is essential)

What part of your day brings you absolute joy?

How can you do that more?

If somebody was asked to describe you in three words, what would you want them to say?

Are your current words and actions giving people a reason to say those things?

We have an obligation to ourselves to be intentional about our legacy. It is the things we do daily which influence the magnitude of the impact we will have on the world we live in. As Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In order to leave your legacy, you must first live it!