Legacy

What will you leave behind? That was the focus of a discussion led by my good friend Jack Woloshun. We were there to talk about the many crossroads in life and the people with whom we share the journey. Have you thought about what you would like to leave behind? What will remain once your flesh and bones no longer walk this earth? How will you be remembered? To demonstrate what’s possible, Jack pulled out a book his daughter assembled for his 60th birthday. She had contacted the many family and friends from Jack’s life and invited them to express their sentiments. The words were anything but shallow, very unlike canned drugstore greeting cards. Rather they were lengthy letters of affection, memories and hope for the future. Jack only read 3 or 4 letters from the book, but what he shared demonstrated what it means to leave a legacy. Jack has spent his life giving to others; he has chosen to be a giver instead of a taker. The letters reflect a lifetime of memories, influence and impact. I think that is what it’s all about. Legacy is something you may or may not have thought of; I think the answer is likely dependent on your age and to what extent you consider your life in the grand scheme of humankind. Legacy is not about leaving a hospital or street with your name stamped on. It’s not about things you did that elevated your ego. It’s not about how many toys you collected. It’s not even about how much money you left to charities or your kids. Legacy is fundamentally about who you are. Your legacy is a replica of how you live your life every day. What would happen if people were asked...

Fingerprints

Oprah Winfrey said, “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” I completely agree. However, it’s not always easy. We think life is going one direction, and it suddenly changes course. If the world would just let us be the nice people we really are and let us make our mark! If we do 99 things right and one wrong, we tend to focus on the one we screwed up! The truth is, you bring things to the world no one else does. When you walk into a room, the room is different because you are there. I just finished the book, The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It’s a book written for people like me who want to influence others in positive ways by writing and speaking. But I found their conclusion to have universal appeal. Brogan and Smith wrote the following that I thought was worth sharing as you begin yet another week of your brief but significant life. “The curtain opens, you have your moment in the limelight, and you say your lines. The audience applauds during your solo, there’s a love interest side story, and everything ends up happily ever after. Unfortunately, almost nothing happens this way. This is life, not a movie. So there are no credits that roll after a crisp, simple ending. In fact…your life is messy. Not everything fits in quite right. There are mistakes, missteps and mispronunciations. Thankfully, as long as you’re doing at least something right, almost no one will remember them. Instead they will remember your home runs and big hits. They’ll remember the work that helped them achieve a breakthrough, reach many other people, or make a million dollars. Along the way...