What thoughts went through your mind? Did you think of your own mortality? Did you imagine your own passing?
Key events and deaths have a way of getting our attention. For some these events can be life changing. For others these events should be life changing. These pivotal moments in history are markers or “signs” for each of us to push ourselves to re-evaluate our lives.
If you had passed…
- Who would you miss?
- What might you regret?
- Have you wronged anyone that you have still yet to right?
When you think of Michael Jackson what comes to mind?
- A positive force
- A negative fore
Whether he likes it or not, all of those things are his legacy. He will forever be seen as a legend in the music world and as a person he will be viewed as someone to feel sorry for or to be disgusted by.
What about you? How about your life? What is your legacy? What would you like it to be?
Each year I try to ask myself a series of questions including these:
- What type of father do I want to be?
- What do I want for my children?
- What type of husband do I want to be?
- What do I want my marriage to be like?
I have a beautiful wife and we have been married for 13 years. I have two lovely children who are seven and ten. So far we are doing pretty well. But I know there is more to do. There is more on my list.
I have a great deal of unfinished business—not just personally, but professionally as well. It is an on-going journey. I can let the twists and turns of life architect my legacy or I can architect it myself.
We talk about celebrities every day, but spend little time thinking about and examining our own lives. How acutely have you thought about the legacy you will leave? Have you written down goals and taken purposeful actions to achieve them?
Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have all been deliberate in their choices. Each of them had to overcome challenges, maintain determination, become extremely disciplined, and say “no” to certain people and things along the way to achieve what they have.
What if they had not been resolute in chasing their dreams?
- What would be the top selling album of all time?
- What would basketball look like?
- Without Microsoft, Apple would not be what it is today because their inceptions and growth were inexplicably linked.
- How many young people would not be exposed to golf without Tiger’s influence?
Without the efforts of each of these individuals our lives would be very different and we would not see them in the way that we do. We would not remember any of them after they were gone.
How have you influenced the lives of others? How do people see you? How will they remember you? Personally? Professionally? Most significantly, what sort of legacy will you leave behind without taking action? Without pursuing your passion; your dreams?
William Wallace said, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”
Charles Darwin said, “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
Live each moment. Use that hour. Go deep.
Ask yourself, “What is my story?” Or “How do I want my story to read?”
Figure it out and start on it today. After all, it is awfully apparent tomorrow may not come. And yet your legacy, whatever it is, will live on after you have departed…like it or not.