Gave a talk this week around the urgency of wellbeing and how legacy is impacted by our choices. Came away inspired to share this updated post from 2007, Legacy: Your Life, Your Work, Your Story.
There probably is no greater consequence to consider than what type of legacy we leave behind. The finality of our legacy can make you pause and contemplate the things you’ve said and done. There’s something in us that makes us realize that we are leaving a mark on this great planet-good or bad. And it is true that we all (rich and poor, young and old, learned and ignorant) have a legacy to account for. It’s ironic that many don’t even give it a second thought. Consider the words of Vaclav Havel:
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
If all there is to your work life is this quarter’s numbers or the year-end bonus, then legacy probably means little to you. If there is no cause or great battle to fight, then you probably think all this talk about legacy is “soft.” Because to think of legacy is to have vision, and we know vision is about seeing the unseen. But what’s really powerful is the fact that it is seen…it’s unfolding everyday before your very eyes. It’s a truth that everyone is shaping their legacy one day at a time.
Corporate slave traders need people who are willing, if not ignorantly, to exchange their freedom for the immediate issue at hand. See Wall Street to learn more. They need you to be fixated on concerns that can be solved in meetings and handled by committees. They want your mind on the work…for as long as they can use you. They want you intoxicated by that corner office and all that it means, even if it means nothing at all. If you’re not thinking about legacy, then you are just a means to an end. Even if you’re covered in the finest of the fine.
Here are some things to consider when making the turn to legacy:
- Don’t expect the crowd to applaud. Rarely does this happen, and the truth is you don’t need it. You need to make your story the best it can be, not the most popular.
- Living a life of legacy requires you to think about eternity. Take a look at the opening scene below from the movie Gladiator:
- If you value freedom, remember your story is the most important one.
- Search for someone (spouse, brother, sister, mentor, priest, colleague) who wants this life for you and let them spur you on.
- Read Success Built To Last and be inspired by others who share your desire.