This topic doesn’t typically come up in every day conversation unless dealing with chronic illness and death is in your daily job description.
For most of us, staring mortality in the face is usually brought on by an event of some sort, and that event is so powerful, that it causes us to look in the mirror and ask, “Did I live well?” “Am I as successful as I want?” “Am I who I want to be?”
As I continue to take care of an ill family member, I find myself asking those questions and wondering why, sometimes, it takes a death in the family or chronic illness to think about life in a serious way. Is the idea of impending loss making it so that I look at life through a different lens now?
Perhaps. But I do believe, as a High Performance Coach, that the power of using the opportunity of potential regret as clarifying and motivating tools extremely effective – we clarify what matters most to us and we act on that.
This concept of regret was so powerful that it not only helped me pass through the fear of getting a black belt in tae kwon do, it spurred me on to excel. I remember telling myself that I didn’t want to miss out on this chance to have this experience with my family.
So I did some research and found a road map of legacy quotes that, when combined together, added up to a good step by step process to live your legacy NOW so you can leave it for others later.
What do I mean by legacy?
What I mean by legacy is when your life is over, how you will be remembered? What you will be remembered for? And, Did you live, well?
Have you thought about what your definition is?
Below is the road map. Take your time and really think about what each of these quotes mean to you.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing – Benjamin Franklin
So our friend, Ben, is basically saying that either write something full of meaning that touches people deeply or do something that touches people deeply. What would that be for you? How would you make a difference?
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Gandhi
Our favorite ascetic, Mahatma, is telling you that when you stop thinking about yourself for a minute, you can recognize who you are and what is important to you by serving others. Do you make time to be giving of yourself to others in need and do you do it with love in your heart? What would service look like to you?
It is not death that man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live – Marcus Aurelius
Marky Marc knows that man has many fears – either real or imagined – and from that point of view, reminds you that the greatest fear is regret. Basically, you’ve been given a gift and you need to honor that gift by living intentionally. How intentional are you in your work, in your relationships, with yourself?
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you – Maya Angelou
Ah, Maya… she has class doesn’t she? In this quote, she is taking you and me to church. Her gospel says that you can’t be truly happy, fulfilled, actualized unless you do the very thing that has been cracked open – freed – in your silent dreams and unspoken wishes. This goes beyond regret, discovery of self, or excellence; it goes to the heart of the spark of life that you’ve been given. What’s your silent dream? What’s your unspoken wish that you would fulfill if you were smart enough, rich enough, beautiful enough….just enough? Maybe your dream doesn’t rely on the “Enoughs” soundtrack, maybe your dream needs a more resourceful you?
After reading these wisdom teachers, I came up with a quote that reminds me of the essence of what Franklin, Gandhi, Aurelius and Angelou said:
Leaving a legacy begins with living it – Christine Jeffrey
HOW TO LEAVE A LEGACY BY LIVING IT
- KNOW THYSELF – You can’t truly know yourself unless you put yourself into situations that require you to decide and to act. Your actions define you, in that, your actions communicate to others what is important to you at the time. People can only truly experience what you do. What do you want your actions to communicate to others?
- HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED – This is the ultimate target isn’t it? What words come to mind? Caring, inventor, entrepreneur, protector, provider, great mom, great dad et al? What words would you like to be used to describe you?
- SET INTENTIONS – Intend to live with those outcomes in mind. Remind yourself and keep reminding yourself, and when you do, that kind of intentional living becomes a habit.
- BE A GIVER – When you share your life in this way, where you are living from your best self and are giving of your time, energy, thought and spirit, you become connected to the world and the people in your life in a profound way. In my opinion, there is no greater feeling in the world than living your legacy every single day.
When you practice these 4 steps, you not only start living a legacy, you begin to leave one as well, because often times, people don’t remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel. Remember Franklin says, “Be excellent, Dude.” Gandhi says, “You have to give to receive.” Aurelius says, “We all fear, so avoid regret most of all,” and Angelou says, “You live when you take action on the dream in your heart.”
Remember, God or whatever higher power you believe in wouldn’t have given you the dream or the wish without also giving you the capablility of making it come true. It’s not a question of capability as it is a question of resourcefulness.
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You got this. Leave a comment, ask a question, I’m here to help.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time,
Make the most of the time you have!
Coach “Live your legacy because it’s your greatest gift”