My legacy is not money! As I get older and things change, I think about what I may leave behind. Legacy is an amount of money or property left to someone in a will. It is much easier to leave money and property to your heirs. When I was growing up, I wanted my parent’s time, unfortunately they were always busy. In order to spend time with them, I had to work. It helped influence my values!
Legacy for me is a lifetime of accomplishments and achievements that are remembered. I would like to be remembered professionally for my skills and accomplishments and personally for shared experiences with my family. I have been reading obituaries lately because I am interested how other people sum up their life. I realize that it makes me old, but I am so it does not bother me. Maybe everyone should consider their legacy; it may influence what they do in their lives.
So much is said about saving for retirement, career, family, social life and so much more. Perhaps, we should focus on your contributions to your family, enterprise and society. I am not talking about donations in the normal sense. Does your life’s work contribute to society? Beyond work, you can contribute by raising your children to contribute to society too. Are influenced or an influencer? Do you use your position to contribute to society? What do you want to be remembered for?
You do not have to be rich or doctor or teacher to contribute to society. Everyone can contribute by the way they conduct their lives. Little things matter! If you just do your job to the best of your ability, you are contributing to society. This is true whether you are a waitress, customer service representative or sales person. By just doing a good job, you remove a lot of frustration. If companies care about their employees, it contributes to society.
Think about how you interact with people, friends, relationships, strangers, family, workers and online. Online activity has become a category which may include customer service, companies, blogging, forums dating websites and so much more. I realize you are anonymous, but that makes it even more important. Living your life based on a set of values means you do not distinguish one from another. You act appropriately everywhere. Too often casual interactions do not matter, but they do!
There are role models in your life such as parents, athletes or others which you want to emulate. Some of these role models you never met or even spent any time with them, but they still influenced your life. I remember John Wooden (UCLA) basketball coach who was known for winning the most (10) nationally championships. He was a teacher, coach and most of all a man of principles. He lived his life with a set of principles or values that distinguished him.
Ca you plan your legacy? I do not know! Better to try to do the right thing vs. just living your life based on every whim or fancy. I think it is always better to make decisions based on a set of values. Thinking about your legacy helps you establish goals that make life worthwhile. A legacy is a very personal goal that may not immediately yield a return. It may only expose you to other people who share your values. Those shared values make the work worthwhile and more meaningful.
The people you meet interact or pass in your lifetime present opportunities for you to make a difference. You can seize the moment and do something good or do nothing. The choice is yours! These many stories of abuse, rudeness or ignorance with customer service representatives, waiters/waitresses, or other service people. You can control your reaction and do the right thing. I am not suggesting to turn your cheek, but you can solve the problem by asking for a supervisor.
I know that only older people think about legacies. Everyone should think about how they want to be remembered and start now to make a difference. There are opportunities to make a difference in our everyday lives. I saw a homeless person panhandling the other day, I could have just tossed some money, but instead I gave him a gift card to Burger King. Someone had a bicycle accident on the bike path and three friends were helping her. I still stopped to help. What is your legacy?
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