“Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day.”
Dennis and I spent Christmas and New Year’s alone and we enjoyed some deep conversations. One of the questions that came up was, “How can we leave a legacy when we live so far from our children?” That led to a conversation about leaving a legacy in general. Legacy is a deep thing to ponder when goal setting. Who do I want to become? What will my signature be on the life I leave behind? I know my children have some scars from the life that I led before I sobered up. (Ha! Don’t l most children have some kind of scars from childhood?)
Since everyone leaves some kind of legacy, what kind of legacy can we leave starting now? We need to be intentional about deciding what kind of legacy we’re going to leave and how we’re going to accomplish that.
First, decide what kind of legacy we want to leave. Most people generally just accept their lives, they don’t lead them. Are we living the preferred vision for our lives or have we settled into our comfort zones? What values do we live by?
Second, live the legacy we want to leave. We have to live the life we say we believe in. I don’t think that legacy is taught, I think it’s more caught. We need to model what we desire to see in others.
“Someday people will summarize your life in a single sentence.
My advice: pick it now.” –John Maxwell
Third, who do we want to carry on our legacy? This question is not only if we are leading an organization, business or non-profit. This is for Moms, Dads and the rest of us, too. We all have a sphere of influence. Yes, not everyone will carry on our legacy, but there will be those who will step forward of their own accord because they like what they see.
Fourth, make sure we pass the baton. The best leaders don’t just live for today, we live with tomorrow in mind. Steven Covey says that we need to begin with the end in mind. Pour into those that desire your gifts and knowledge and want to carry those on.
We all hope that our lives matter in some way. We want to be remembered for the good that we contributed to the world. Our lives may not be world-changing, but our fingerprints will be all over those lives that we have touched.
Yes, I know, this is a lot to think about for a Monday. It’s the beginning of the year and it’s a great time to envision what we desire to be different in 2020…and beyond.
The John Maxwell Team
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