Ever wonder what will be left behind when our time on earth is complete? What philosophy, inspiration, examples of life and love, or memories will be the essence that is you? Although I’m a proponent of being present in the moment, and living life to the fullest, what equally matters is what is left behind. I don’t mean the physical things, the money, the will’s, and the ‘stuff’ we can’t take with us. Rather, I’m talking about the total sum of our lives and what we will be remembered for.
Seems like if we know the end goal of our life, and what we want it to stand for, then we will know how to live our lives. Without an end goal, we won’t know if we’re on track or off. Staying on course can bring joy and a sense of accomplishment. There’s great value in having a multitude of experiences on our resume, but there is even more significance in the intangible inheritance we leave to our family and friends.
If we could orchestrate our funerals, what would we want those left behind to know? Would our departure inspire them? Equip them? Challenge them to fill our shoes? Maybe today we can start with:
- Don’t bench the people in your life that want to be a part of you.
- If you’re good at something, break it down and pass it on.
- Keep your promises or don’t make them. Little things mean a lot.
- Really listen, look at people when they talk (and for those women that go on and on, learn to swallow a yawn so she won’t know). You never know when you might want her on your team.
- Text I love you, or you are special. Set your phone alarm to help you remember. You never know when that might be your last text and something your children, friends, family or spouse can treasure.
We all leave a legacy behind—good or bad. I’d like to leave a legacy behind that can’t be put on a headstone. A legacy, invested in those who live today in our circle of influence, never dies. When I’m called home, I’d like to think my legacy will fall into the ‘I’m glad I knew them’ category. Will the sum value of my life inspire others to expect more of themselves than they are presently choosing? I hope so.
None of us gets out of this life alive, but we can leave it better for those we leave behind. Let’s teach the good, avoid the bad and build the legacy!
Photo: Flickr/ Andreas Klodt