A legacy is about more than what you leave behind for your children. It’s a story about you, gifted to the world.
It was an early spring morning not long ago…I was sitting on our old wood porch behind the house. The cool spring air upon my skin went well with a hot cup of green tea. Holding my cup tight with two hands, the steam tickling my nose, I stared off into the woods; taking in all its beauty.
I marveled at birds singing, "dancing" squirrels and the sun breaking through the tree canopy. As my mind wandered, away from the hustle and bustle of today's agenda, the peace, and tranquility set in. It sent me down a perfectly timed path of broken thoughts pieced together in a question…
What will I leave behind?
History and Legacy...
I’ve considered this many times and in many ways, from Stephen Covey’s philosophy of “begin with the end in mind” to Darren Hardy’s exercise for writing your own epitaph. For me, this philosophy had always felt as though something was missing. I began to question that if I give my all to this world - the people, the community, my friends and family – for 50, 63 or 97 years, is that all I ever give? If I live full, is the day I pass or the day I’m buried really the end?
My mind began to whirl and wonder if my family would soon forget about me. And if not my kids and grandchildren, what about their children? Would they know of me? As I pondered this question I began to mine through dynamic thoughts and emotional fireworks searching for clarity.
I continued to analyze this...digging deeper and envisioning bigger. More questions stirred…
Will my actions echo across eternity?
Will strangers hear my name and wonder?
Will colleagues mention me when they say they’ve walked with giants?
I explored each ambition and examined every sentiment that saturated my mind. There it was…a vision of life in the world of my great-great grandchildren.
Once again, more questions… Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, so how does a name live on?
How do I plant seeds, the experiences, the connections, the qualities, I hope my lineage harvests for years to come?
One more question hit before my cup of tea ran dry…
What could be?
A seemingly daunting and overwhelming question, but one that helped me to gain context and perspective.
Most people’s dreams and ambitions are a vision well below their potential. What I mean is, each and every moment we spend today is the creation of our very own history. Every path I take I'm leaving my legacy. Why not live it as though I will be remembered for centuries?
More questions arose…
How could I expand my great-great grandchildren’s vision? How could I amplify their ambition and help to cultivate their confidence? How could I paint a picture of the possibilities life truly holds for them?
Short phrases came to mind such as:
- Live Better
- Why Wait
- Make Lasting Change
- Have Fun
- Solve Problems
- Be Radically Different
On and on I juggled the thoughts of how I’d like to be remembered. There it was...
Immortality lays in unforgettable legend; a story that stirs the heart and sparks the mind.
The Legend Story...
If they ever tell my story, let them say…
How Tenaciously He Learned
He was inspired by a vision of future and what he believed was possible. No matter people’s opinions or what obstacles along the way he was destined to find the answer. His deep desire to learn and the burning fire to excel would blaze the way to success.
The rich learning environments, progress checks, and celebrated milestones were symbolic of his thirst for knowledge. Even when his life seemed “normal” he was constantly walking the line, on the edge of comfort, searching for spiritual depth, theoretical insight, and practical solutions. He would seek new experiences to stretch, grow and bend the status quo.
New horizons were the answer to his inner needs, taming his passionate curiosity. The more he discovered the more he wanted to master. It provided him with a unique perspective, freedom, and authenticity that sparked people interest.
How Bravely He Lead
He was a rebel, but not reckless. Congruent and authentic. It didn’t matter how heavy the load of responsibility was, he had an unbreakable aura of certainty and stability. He knew with confidence that he could solve problems, even the biggest and toughest ones. He intuitively knew when to lead. And when to follow.
He didn’t fear change, he embraced it - it was the alleyway to growth. Despite the discomfort, he was poised under pressure and would inspire change; it’s like he knew how to engineer it. He would curate and cultivate ideas, create new paradigms and connect the dots. He’d lead others – his family, friends, his team and community - to possibilities, shifts, and awakenings.
He was energizing and enchanting, but was rarely hype. He was raw and real, refreshingly honest. He’d shoot you straight, with honesty and integrity, and it provided others with a sense of strength.
How Fiercely He Loved
He was sensitive to the emotions of others, but not enabling. He could instinctively sense the feelings of others, imagine their position, and step in their shoes. It’s how he would listen, its how he would connect.
He would transform and empower communities purely from love. He wanted everyone (and I mean everyone) to have fun and enjoy themselves. He helped them to experience health, wealth and happiness. He would say it’s, “Quiet madness, and passion was the influence of a soul that’s mad to love.”
He loved the scent of freshly washed linens, life, and laughter. He loved to play. If it wasn’t fun it wouldn’t work out well for him. But most of all he loved his wife and family. They were his garden, baring luscious fruits of trust, care and support; all feeding his dreams.
How Consciously He Lived
He was a man of high self-awareness and a strong inner compass. He didn’t allow himself to undertake in things that made him discontent or long for something more in his life. Instead, he lived in the context of his deepest ambitions, finding and creating impact along the way.
He challenged himself from beginning to end, through trials and tribulations, in the essence of adventure. He would make the important choices to detach self from the noise and live consciously. No matter the level of success he was a man of humility. No matter the depth of struggle he was a man of gratitude.
His deep appreciation for life some considered eccentric, but his humble heart, noble actions and high integrity is how he is remembered.
Please comment and share below how you'd like to be remembered.